Title - A Sleeping Place
Artist - Gawain and The Green Knight
It was a struggle to create this year, Alexia Antoniou has said.
For those unaware, as one half of the indie-folk duo, Gawain and The Green Knight, Antoniou is well aware of how fickle something like creative inspiration can be. And with this past year being a time of unprecedented change and isolation, her and her bandmate â€” her fiance, Mike OMalley â€” have gotten to know this fickleness on a whole new level.
Leonard Cohen once described the struggle as akin to being married to a mystery â€” Antoniou describes it in simpler, yet equally effective language: Every time I sat down to write, it felt like my brain was getting up and walking out of the room, like we were in a fight.
But nonetheless, as a lot of songwriters know, just because creating can be a struggle at times doesnâ€™t mean you stop trying to do it. In fact, when they were faced with a bit of writers block, Antoniou and OMalley decided to tackle it head-on, opening the hood on their process and tinkering around to try to make the engine run again.
It turns out that, in order to create anything, you have to be okay with sitting with your thoughts and feeling your feelings â€” neither of which felt particularly great to do, Antoniou said. Distraction was all I wanted, which made me wonder, Who else might have felt that way? What distractions would they have sought?
In searching for the answers for these questions, Antoniou accidentally stumbled across what she was looking for in the first place: inspiration.
Now, on June 11th, 2021, the flame that grew out of that spark is set to drop â€” titled A Sleeping Place, the EP is a six-song romp exploring everything from history to mythology, philosophy, anxiety and more.
Contemplative, well-spoken and with brilliant, symbolic imagery, the EP shows off just how powerful a simple change in perspective can be for a songwriter.
3. In My Dreams, a Perfect Chair
4. Birds & Wine
Opening on the energetic The Dressmaker (the tale of a woman in the 1800s who, when her husband takes off has to build a new life for herself and her daughters), they back that up with the the delicate fingerpicked guitar and bowed strings appeal of Dionysus, and then we get the low key, Suzanne Vega-esque, lyrically free flowing Bridget (a track inspired by a walk through New York and the piano capturing the sun flickering over the river).
Up next is the story of a woodworkers apprentice who feels inadequate because they cannot make anything good enough, the fairytale storytelling of In My Dreams, a Perfect Chair, and that is followed by the gently atmospheric, woodland hipsway of Birds & Wine (which details a supplicant making a sacrifice and explores the connection between the goddess of love and the sea), closing the EP on the autobiographical track, the peaceful, lyrical gossamer of the hushed and dreamy Fingers (inspired by when her and then husband-to-be Mike could not get seats together on an airplane).
Taking their name from the mythology of King Arthur and the Round Table saga, the tale in question one of death and rebirth, this emerging Brooklyn duo bring forth the mesmerizingly atmospheric EP, A Sleeping Place (the title inspired by the etymology of the Greek word for cemetery), underlining influences from literature and Greek mythology and songs imbibed with a meditation on mortality vs. immortality; both melancholic and uplifting.
Official Purchase Links
Official Fingers Music Video
Official Birds & Wine Music Video
Gawain and The Green Knight @ Facebook
Gawain and The Green Knight @ Instagram
Gawain and The Green Knight @ YouTube
Gawain and The Green Knight @ Spotify