Coinciding with the weekend’s Snow Moon, New Jersey solo artist Caroline Blind has just unveiled the new video for “Need to Say,” the third video single lifted from her 2020 début solo album, The Spell Between. Already, response to the song and its new promo clip over the weekend is attracting fresh interest in last year’s album, as it approaches its first anniversary this month (March 2021).
Watch the video for “Need to Say” below:
Caroline Blind is perhaps best known as the former frontperson for Sunshine Blind (1991-2003); a band Andrew Eldritch of The Sisters of Mercy once notoriously refused to follow on stage, claiming they were “too gothic”. The Spell Between, however, is certainly not that.
While the album’s goth pedigree is undeniable, its stylistic range is richly varied, from dark folk to alternative rock and post-punk, through to triphop, electronic, and ethereal dream-pop influences. Indeed, a surprisingly fitting version of “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers almost sounds more like a cover of Massive Attack’s “Teardrop” than it does the original song.
“Need to Say” was cowritten by Caroline Blind and Rich Witherspoon, co-founder, guitarist, and multi-instrumentalist of legendary gothic rock band The Wake (1986-present). Behind the song, the emotional wellspring for both songwriters was the loss of their respective fathers. Witherspoon later described the writing process:
“The thing I love about this song is the honesty in its expression. I was going through some dark things in my life, when I was drawn to this big, beautiful baritone acoustic guitar. After the shipper dropped it off, I ran to my rehearsal space, unboxed it, tuned it up and the beginnings of this song was literally the first thing I played. Almost a stream of consciousness type thing; very moving. I quickly worked through adding a second guitar line. Ran out to my car for a listen, loved it, and immediately sent it Caroline…”
“It reminded me of when I lost my father in 2015. The song tries to capture the moment when you know you are in your last moments together with someone close to you. You try to be present; you try to be strong, and say all the things you never said, of that you want to say, or should say. But even if and as you find the words, you realize how futile, senseless, and meaningless they are in the face of loss.”
Nevertheless, the album’s gothic roots are manifested both through Blind’s own distinctive reinterpretations of songs from Sunshine Blind, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, The Wake, and Swans, and through her exhaustive list of chosen collaborators.
Despite that lineage, the gothic influence on The Spell Between remains understated. At least one third of The Spell Between instead comprises sombre, acoustic-based “folk-noir,” of which “Need to Say” is one of several prime examples.
The video for “Need to Say” was filmed by Tintin, a close friend of Caroline’s since they were at university together, and the designer of Sunshine Blind’s ever popular ‘Praying Boy’ t-shirt. In keeping with the song’s underpinning themes, Tintin included an image of his father near the beginning of the clip.
Purchase and stream The Spell Between here.