Those familiar with grief would know it can manifest in strange, unforeseen ways. Núria Graham‘s new single “The Catalyst”, for example, skips and chimes like a heart skipping several beats of joy, mickey mousing around like some ageless musical number.
Though the music feels like a soundtrack coming to life, Graham’s off-kilter wit brings the listener straight to the present. She wonders subconsciously whether its a person she misses or the “stories of horses and your Sinatra cross-eyed bliss”. She wants to throw a party and a kiss, or at least have a chance to say goodbye in her “stupid Catalan English”.
Sadly, it’s too late for all that, but nevertheless, the song becomes its own miniature ceremony; Graham recorded “The Catalyst” at home using piano and cookie boxes as percussion. Like a garden of flowers growing up from the soil, marching drums, pizzicato strings, bassoons (bassoons!) and clarinets elevate the music. It strikes like some surreal enshrinement of one person’s memory, all while grasping with the assured truth of loss.
Previously, Graham released “Yes It’s Me, The Goldfish”, along with the announcement of forthcoming album Cyclamen, which comes out on January 20, 2023 (via Verve Forecast and New Deal, in collaboration with Primavera Labels and Universal Music).
The video for “The Catalyst”, directed by Marc Cuscó (with art direction by Ingrid Ferrer and Graham), tries to capture the catalyst’s unique energy, the two dancers representing the celebration or the ceremony of a farewell. Watch it below and find the song on streaming outlets.