The first single “In Contemplation of Clair’s Scent” is out now on Brainfeeder.
First introduced into the public eye as a filmmaker with his 2012 Sundance Film Festival debut “An Oversimplification of Her Beauty”, Terence Nance (also known as Terence Etc. in more musically aligned spheres) exists on the threshold of artistic form. Terence has built a reputation over the last decade as one of America’s most adventurous filmmakers and is perhaps best known for his Peabody Award-winning HBO series “Random Acts of Flyness”, a television program that he created, directed, starred in, edited, and scored in 2018. He is truly multidisciplinary. He draws. He writes. He sings. He plays the guitar. He builds things. He harbors in himself a great many possibilities, a great many realities that whirl about seeking expression and balance.
It is this desire for balance—balance of life, balance of emotions, balance of energies within— that brought forth “V O R T E X”, his debut album.
“V O R T E X is a sonic tool that I made so that I can play it for myself and balance my energy between masculine and feminine; destructive and creative; domination and submission; right and left; sun and moon; day and night: opposing energies generally,” explains Terence. “The album intends to use sound, melody, song, incantation, etc. to rebalance a bodyspirit through out the constant circular movement of life.”
The album was written and produced by Terence, along with long time friends and collaborators: Solomon Dorsey, Nick Hakim and his brother Nelson Bandela. Most of the songs on the 11 track album are arranged as diptychs that swell and fold in on themselves in a dizzying oscillation. Terence is flirtatious in his lamenting, with a style that swells from suggestively oracular, to vaudeville, to your local battle of the bands.
“I recorded demos for each song, just guitar and voice on a voicenote – then I started doing shows and Solomon and Nick encouraged me to get into the more rigorous process of producing the songs which took planning and revisions, revisions, revisions, until it was done. I credit them with making sure it all happened” says Terence.
Visuals by Rikkí Wright, Alima Lee, Kirby Griffin, and Maya Iman will accompany the album.
Terence highlights Stevie Wonder as a major source of inspiration: “I think my favorite song ever… is probably ‘Visions’. It’s – for me – the most viscerally emotional experience of melody, instrumentation and lyrics coming together. It’s telling a story, you know?”
The record certainly defies easy categorisation but is forged with the same spirit of experimentation and adventure synonymous with Terence’s heroes and contemporaries, artists like Andre 3K, Solange, Serpentwithfeet, Nelson Bandela, Standing on the Corner, Earl Sweatshirt, Nick Hakim, and Moses Sumney and indeed, Brainfeeder’s illustrious founder Flying Lotus. V O R T E X also draws on the literature of Louise Erdrich and Toni Morrison, as well as the drawings of Ruby Amanze whose voice is featured on the album.
“V O R T E X” envelops its audience in a clairvoyant’s plea to their lover, a psychic invitation to some preordained union of souls as expressed through a dreamstate or vision. Rhythmically, there is the sensation of being led, of descending into the deep caverns of a psyche in the troughs of harmonic convergence, a jovial if not foreboding impression. There is regret here too, as there always is in musings of relation: regrets of timing, regrets of intentions, regrets of capacity to accept and nurture love.
In the momentous ‘In Contemplation of Clair’s Scent’, Terence is candid and intimate. The song grows, emotions swell and morph. Clarity and confidence become a meditation on the desire for today and its fleshy possibilities as tomorrow becomes the desire for an ancient and spiritual affinity.
Much of V O R T E X’s climate circulates these themes. The weather of the feeling is a coy calamity, a playful unraveling of romantic expectation transposed against a taut everyday reality of projected masculinity. This need for an esoteric familiar shifts the albums perspective. Who is Terence singing to? If it is a woman is it a woman of external reality or a more abstracted feminine quality within Terence himself?
Harmony and balance, though slow, moves steady and arrives here in the V O R T E X for us to share.
Next for Terence, September will bring the premiere of a ritual, Fourth Dimension Trigger, Fifth Dimension Trauma at the 2022 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC. Then on an unspecified date in the near future, the premiere of season II of Random Acts of Flyness.
“V O R T E X” comes out on the 19th of August 2022 via Brainfeeder. It’s available digitally and on limited edition deluxe 2LP vinyl with gold foil detail featuring photography by Kirby Griffin and artwork by ELLA.