Divide and Dissolve are the duo of Melbourne-based Takiaya Reed and Sylvie Nehill, who are set to release a new album called Gas Lit on January 29 – their third album, but first for Bristol’s beloved Invada Records. The pair, who make largely instrumental music, maintain contact with their ancestral roots through their music and visuals, with Reed being part Cherokee and Nehill being part Māori. They say:
“Sometimes we don’t need to talk in order for others to understand what’s going on. We are also communicating with our ancestors through the music. Our ancestors help us to communicate with each other on a deeper level as well. This deep connection is able to be achieved without words.”
Today they unleash the second single from the forthcoming album, “Denial”, a song that is not for the faint of heart. Divide and Dissolve begin the track with Reed’s hair-raising sax playing a mournful tune that will have you frozen you to the spot. Stuck in place, they then bring the hammer down with thunderous death metal riffs that are as impactful as they are scabrous. The rhythm and precision of the instrumental see-saw is hypnotic, a snarling beast that transfixes you with its steely gaze, which then gradually starts to blur and crumble as it enfolds you in its jaws. How and if Divide and Dissolve’s racket relates to the title “Denial” will be different for each listener, but there’s no denying that it gets under your skin like the creeping sensation its named after, and it will stay with you longer than you might like.
Converse to the dark sounds of the song, the video for “Denial” – by Amber Beaton – was shot in Taupo-Nui-A-Tia, a beautifully wild part of New Zealand’s North Island, and it features a whole host of the vibrant flora found there. Beaton says:
“I’m a huge fan of D/D and so happy to have made this video for them. I understand and appreciate the message behind the music and I wanted to make sure the video held the same intentions no matter how subtle. For instance, we start off with a shot of a Kōwhai tree. Native to Aotearoa, Kōwhai in bloom signifies to Māori that some seafood is ready for harvest, the roots can be used to make fishing hooks, the sap on the sunny side of the tree can be used to heal wounds… but the vibrancy of the yellow flower was also the first thing Captain Cook saw when he arrived on the shores of Aotearoa signalling the start of colonial violence on this whenua/land. The changing colours of its flower in the video represents our change as a country and as people since that fateful arrival.”
Watch the video for “Denial” below.