Here we go again — another song where Kristin Hayter, aka Lingua Ignota, brings listeners to absolute stillness and devastation. With the impending arrival of her new record, intimidatingly titled SINNER GET READY, Hayter continues to tease a surprisingly new melodic direction with “PERPETUAL FLAME OF CENTRALIA”, the latest cut from the follow-up to her infernal 2019 album Caligula.
An even more sparse and somber cut than the harrowingly beautiful lead single “PENNSYLVANIA FURNACE”, “PERPETUAL FLAME OF CENTRALIA” further proves that the sounds surrounding her vocals do not have to form a hellscape in order for her powerful voice and words to leave a haunting mark.
This mournful piano lament also sees the artist continue to say more about the Christian faith than her words communicate on the surface: “I am covered with the blood of Jesus,” she begins. “Life is a song / and the raging fires of hell burn on,” Hayter admits later on the dismal track. With its beguiling title taken from a real-life mine fire that has been burning underneath the city of Centralia, Pennsylvania for more than five decades, Hayter simultaneously establishes biblical imagery of hell itself.
Contrasting – or perhaps accentuating – the stately video, made with Emily Birds, finds Hayter dressed in virginal white clothing designed by Ashley Rose Couture, who also designed the face covering that she wears on SINNER GET READY‘s album cover. Hayter says: “I asked her to design a piece indebted to 17th-century dutch costume, and she returned with a gown with a 20-foot train and a magisterial lace collar exploding with pearls… the expressive capacity of her garments are meditated upon in juxtaposition to the stark, desolate quality of my song. It is the material vs. the immaterial, and the result is languid and dreamy and wonderfully claustrophobic”
Watch the video below, or find “PERPETUAL FLAME OF CENTRALIA” on streaming platforms.
Lingua Ignota’s new album SINNER GET READY is out on August 6 via Sargent House (pre-order/save). She’s also got a few select dates ahead:
Oct 17, 2021 New York, NY – Le Poisson Rouge
Nov 8, 2021 Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall
June 2, 2022 Barcelona – Primavera Sound
Oct 13-15, 2022 Porto, Portugal – Amplifest