New Single Release: Goldrain - Dragonfly
Goldrain is a three-piece band based in London, made up of Barbs Dudek on keys and vocals, Harrison Moore on the drums and Owen Smalley on guitar.
Beyond making music, Goldrain takes on a quasi-spiritual dimension, in which emotions and ideas can be explored in detail in pursuit of personal growth.
Indeed, such was the intention of lead-singer Barbs when she set about fostering the environment in 2019, soliciting Harrison and Owen to collaborate on the project, culminating in the recording of their debut E.P. Mysteries later this year.
The result is a 1970’s art-rock and dark wave infused emotional pitch, with an eerie hybrid of distinctive guitar riffs, and syncopated grooves.
Dragonfly, the first single to be released on the E.P., is a soulful and introspective journey encouraging us to reflect on our lives and where we are going.
It, along with the rest of the Mysteries E.P., was recorded at Impression Recordings in Berlin, built and run by Robbie Moore who has been working in the industry for over 20 years, and has worked with the likes of Florence and the Machine, Babyshambles and Eric Mingus.
Working with Impression Recordings appears to have been a joy for all involved. With a wide range of vintage and modern equipment, the band was able to use their expertise to craft characterful and warm songs.
The single was written in the summer of 2018, following the lead singer’s conversation outside the Mau Mau bar in Notting Hill.
Speaking to the band’s lead singer, she tells us that the song came to her after talking to a friend about “the specific type of pain you get when you’re a kid and your bones grow.
“The dragonfly tattoo is an actual tattoo on a friend who inspired this whole conversation. I went home and I was thinking ‘well… the soul does have similar types of pain… those of growth”.
Amid the haunting sounds of the vintage Hammond M102 Organ at the beginning, and the languid roll of the drums, there is a bittersweet feeling evoked, that is at once empowering, joyous and mournful.
The song’s chorus certainly goes a long way to that end, stating “I wish I could hold her when she loses, hold her in my arms ‘till she heals her scars”.
It is ultimately a compassionate sentiment, and will be recognised by anyone who has ever sat with a friend going through a difficult time; just wishing to be there for them in their suffering.
The relationship is, however, inverted, and for me the song speaks to that tenderness we feel for ourselves when reflecting upon how far we have come in our lives.
These are moments when we have struggled with the facts of existence; broken hearts, death, loneliness, failure.
Anyone who has been through a period of mourning such as that, and comes out the other side will indubitably respect the painful period of growth that they went through, seeing in it much sadness but also a deeper understanding of who and what they are.
It is in moments such as those that a lump rises to the back of the throat and we wish we might have been there for our former selves to remind them that all would eventually be ok.
These are the necessary struggles that bring us to a fuller knowledge of life, or, as is the case for the girl with the dragonfly tattoo, in which “she is learning to fly”.
Whilst the line from the lead singer that this girl “will be fine, she will get her answers just at the right time” could be a personal message to her former self, I believe the message to be universal.
Those answers we are searching for are part and parcel of the painful journey of learning to be ourselves; rediscovering what it means to be ourselves and learning once more how to be comfortable in our own skin.
In this day and age, that journey can feel particularly painful, as the lead singer Barbara points out, “caring for the soul might seem a tricky business… [we are] lacking in rituals, especially those which foster spiritual growth.”
This single will speak to anyone who feels they are struggling, or at least have struggled to understand who and what they are.
To that end, the song is a proud cry to all those who are on a path to discover something of significance and meaning within their own lives.
It has a perennial wisdom, that is joyous and supportive, and encourages us to have faith in our own process, to keep going no matter how tough things might seem.
Similarly, it stands out as a ray of hope for those who might feel lost or alone on their journey, knowing that there are others out there who have felt the same as them.
In that light, I find the song lends itself well to late summer nights, where we take a moment to reflect on where we’ve been and feel inspired as to where we might go.
Or, in the words of the lead singer “this is where I see the potential of art and music; to build a community where those values are nurtured.”
The art direction and all the graphics linked to Goldrain have been created and designed by Barbs' friend Kay Humelt, who is a visual designer based in Warsaw, Poland. Kay’s artistic direction has played a big part in the ascetics that represents Goldrain as a brand.