Ohio-born California-based Maria BC has been signed by Sacred Bones for the release of their new album Spike Field on October 20. The news brings with it a dual single of the album’s first two tracks, “Amber” and “Watcher”.
Of “Amber”, Maria reveals: “Make the mirrors windows” – this line sums up the whole song. I’m reaching out to you so that you might draw me out of myself, out of fear and self-scrutiny, into connection and desire. It’s a love song.”
And on “Watcher” they say: “On “Amber,” the lyrics are about reaching out to receive connection; here, the lyrics are about anticipating that gesture and preemptively reaching down in recognition, like, “I see you’re in pain, I’m here for you. I’m sorry it’s taken so long.” But unlike in “Amber,” that moment of connection never comes. You can’t wish someone’s pain away. You can bear witness to them, but validation can’t undo the past. You have to hold it together, and hold them. It’s difficult. Sometimes you run out of words, like in this song, which opens with this grandiose angelic choir and then just kind of…trails off.”
Maria’s debut album Hyaline already saw them imbuing their spindly acoustic folk tracks with a bevvy of atmospheric defects and rustles, and they’ve further honed that form in “Amber”. Here, scratchy synths cradle Maria’s plucked guitar, which echoes out into a lonesome cavern while they sing of finding new methods of connection – supernatural or spiritual perhaps – looking for someone lost, or someone they know will be found. As subtle drones of electric guitar wash into the track, Maria’s voice comes clearer, their determination to transmit themselves to the world appearing like an undeniable spectre hovering in the darkness.
Following straight on from “Amber”, “Watcher” clears the air, as if Maria has stepped through the metaphysical barrier that they sung of previously and are now in the open, ready to receive. Their voice is multi-tracked and rises in powerful harmonies, an instant sign that power is surging through the songwriter – a long-desired connection coming together to create a shower of colourful inspiration. However, lyrically, BC never finds that spark to set off their heart and mind – instead trailing off into a beautiful unknown.
Watch the video for “Amber” and listen to “Watcher” below, or find both on streamers.