New Video: Acclaimed Singer-Songwriter Alice Phoebe Lou Releases a Trippy 70s Inspired Single from Forthcoming Sophomore Album

Over the past year, I’ve written a bit about the Cape Town, South Africa-born, Berlin, Germany-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Alice Phoebe Lou. And as you may recall, Lou grew up in a rather creative home — her parents were documentary filmmakers, who took the budding artist to piano lessons as a child. As a teenager, the Cape Town-born, Berlin-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist taught herself guitar. The summer she turned 16, Lou went to Paris to visit her aunt. Armed with an acoustic guitar, the young artist met a number of that city’s buskers and street performers — with some of them teaching her poi dancing.

Upon completing her schooling, Lou returned to Europe, first landing in  Amsterdam, where she made money as a poi dancer. She then relocated to Berlin, where she became a well-regarded busker and developed a reputation for a fiercely independent, punk rock-like DIY approach to her career. With the release of 2014’s self-released debut EP, Lou began receiving international attention, eventually spending the following year performing at a number of TED events in London and Berlin. Building upon a rapidly growing international profile, Lou released her full-length debut Orbit in 2016. The album garnered a nomination for Best Female Artist at that year’s German Critics’ Choice Awards and a set at the 27th Annual Conference for the Professional Business Women of California, which featured keynote speakers Venus Williams, Judy Smith, and Memory Banda. She ended the year, touring on bills with Sixto Rodriguez, Boy & Bear, Allen Stone and Crystal Fighters, as well as three, sold-out multimedia events at the Berlin Planetarium. Those Berlin Planetarium shows were so much in demand that she added two additional planetarium shows to her 2017 itinerary. 

Besides touring, the Cape Town-born, Berlin-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has had the live version of “She” amassed over 4 million views on YouTube and was featured in the major motion picture Bombshell: The Heady Lamar Story — all before the studio version of the single was even recorded or released. Additionally, Lou spent time working on her much-anticipated, Noah Georgeson-produced sophomore effort Paper Castles, which is slated for a March 8, 2019 release. And as Lou explains, the album is “about nostalgia, about growing into a woman, about the pain and beauty of the past, about feeling small and insignificant but finding that to be powerful and beautiful, about acknowledging that childhood is over but bringing some of it with you.”

The album’s first single is a slow-burning, 70s AM rock and 70s soul-like “Something Holy.” Centered around a shimmering guitar line, hushed drumming, a sinuous hook, a psychedelic tinged bridge and Lou’s aching vocals, the song is a deeply introspective and unvarnished look into the narrator’s complicated relationships with sex, love, men and herself. As Lou says, the song reflects “the moment that I managed to get over the main hurdle of my past traumas with sex, with men and with my own deeper understanding of intimacy and what it means to be intimate.” Sonically speaking, the song reminds me quite a bit of Amber Arcades‘ European Heartbreak.

Made by Manners Studio is a heady mix of brightly colored, cinematically shot footage of young people brooding and looking bored in a stylish chamber room, animation and Lou earnestly performing the song.

Lou will be embarking on a North American tour to support her sophomore album and it includes a March 8, 2019 stop at Rough Trade. Check out the rest of the tour dates below.

Tour Dates 

March 3 – Toronto, CAN – The Garrison

March 4 – Montreal, CAN – Bar Le Ritz PDB

March 5 – Boston, MA – Cafe 939

March 7 – Vienna, VA – Jammin’ Java

March 8 – Brooklyn, NY – Rough Trade

March 10 – Durham, NC – Motorco Music Hall

March 11 – Atlanta, GA – Vinyl AT Center Stage

March 13 – 17 – Austin, TX – SXSW

March 20 – San Diego, CA – The Casbah

March 21 – Los Angeles, CA – The Moroccan Lounge

March 23 – San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill

March 24 – Portland, OR – The Old Church Concert Hall

March 25 – Seattle, WA – Barboz

Europe

April 10 – Leipzig, DE – UT Connewitz

April 11 – Dresden, DE – Polimagie Festival

April 13 – Hannover, DE – Faust

April 15 – Manchester, UK – Deaf Institute

April 16 – Nottingham, UK – Bodega

April 17 – London, UK – Earth

April 18 – Bristol, UK – Thekla

April 20 – Utrecht, ND – Tivoli

April 21 – Amsterdam, ND – Zonnehuis

April 23 – Aachen, DE – Kulturbunker

April 24 – Brussels, BE – Botanique

April 26 – Vienna, AT – Flex

April 28 – Prague, CZ – Futrum

April 29 – Erlangen, DE – E-Werk

May 1 – Friberg, DE – Jazzhaus

May 2 – Munich, DE – Ampere

May 3 – Zurich, CH – Bogen F

May 4 – Stuttgart, DE – Im Wizemann

May 6 – Cologne, DE – Kulturkirche

May 7 – Mainz, DE – Kuz

May 8 -Kiel, DE – Pumpe

May 9 – Copenhagen, DK – Vega

May 11 – Berlin, DE – Columbiahalle