Singled Out: Karen Nielsen
ICE was the first song I wrote for the new album, WOMAN. I was in a space where all these stages of romantic relationships were happening with me and around me. The good, the bad and the ugly. The past, present and future. I so vividly remembered how an ex said my name one day and I knew from the sound in his voice, that relationship was over. And so the line, "Do you think it's strange the way you say my name?" which was the catalyst for the song.
I don't write with an intention, but more an organic expression of where I am at the time. I was emotionally immersed in the paradox of desire and love and was having these feelings going on simultaneously; lust, jealousy, longing, disdain, hunger, confusion, repulsion, loneliness and became consumed by the evolution of these emotions. One minute we're sad and the next we're angry at the thing that made us sad, then covet it, then discard it, then long for it. At the time I was lonely, really lonely.
I needed to give a voice to all these layers of emotion. The lyrics and the music were written, arranged and recorded at the same time, and in only a couple of days. The layered story is supported by the variance in the music; the intimate whisper of the opening lines with the single drum and cello, juxtaposed by the lament of the chorus supported by the beats, drums and cinematic orchestral strings. Ending again with the intimate softness. I then sent the session off to be mixed by my amazing engineer, Darren Morze, who seems to be able to hear inside my head.
We'd hardly finalized the mix and I was already in preproduction for the music video. I wanted to visually convey how this paradox of desire and love evolves and transcends time. So I wrote the video's narrative of the relationship between two people jumping between the 1920's and the present time. The entire video was shot in one day in Brooklyn and NYC. There was complete trust and commitment between the director, Taylor Ballantyne, the male lead, Kenyon Phillips and myself. We all gave into it and every moment felt real. In some ways I think it was.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and check out the video right here!