Indie-pop, singer-songwriter Seraphina Simone unveils a stunning pair of self-written and co-produced singles to close off a victorious year for the emerging songstress. Skin is a two-part release consisting of the tracks ‘Skin’ and ‘Blue Devil’, a gorgeous miniature collection of songs that range between gently echoing melodies and reverb-heavy production (‘Skin’) to more minimalist, spacious soundscapes that emphasise her raw, unfiltered vocals (‘Blue Devil’). The constant thread that connects the two tracks is the 80’s dipped, synth-based sounds that have been a welcomed recurring theme in Seraphina’s music so far.
By sticking to her winning formula of vast and dreamy, electronic soundscapes paired with soul-baring lyricism, Seraphina has managed to strike gold yet again with this release. As her last two singles of the year, both ‘Skin’ and ‘Blue Devil’ are standout offerings from the young Londoner, who has very quickly found her sound and stride within the industry, making pop music with profound substance and depth.
‘Skin’ shares many of the same sonic elements with Seraphina’s previous release, ‘Hollywood $$$’; the repeating synths, reverb-rich production, and Americana-style guitars. Just as ‘Hollywood $$$’ tackles the many pitfalls of Tinsel Town, ‘Skin’ breaks down the expectations of sexuality and desire. Seraphina’s deliciously raspy vocals narrate the story of a woman torn between what she wants and what society tells her she needs, a dilemma many will relate to and such is the beauty or Seraphina Simone’s songwriting.
“It’s about sex and desire. It ties into a book I was reading about a devout woman in Bible Belt America who marries young for duty, and then falls for someone else in her 40s and starts an affair. The whole book was about the contradiction between her emotions and her upbringing, how what her body and heart were telling her was right was seen as sinful. I think as women we’re often taught to tame our desires, to make them fit into something that is palatable and acceptable for the male gaze or an outdated expectation of how a woman should behave, and by doing that we lobotomise a part of ourselves. ‘Skin’ is about that inner conflict.”
On the other hand, ‘Blue Devil’ is a stripped-back, atmospheric, synth-pop track that’s filled to the brim with personal, almost autobiographical lyricism that conjures vivid imagery in the listener’s mind. Rich in sound and meaning ‘Blue Devil’ is about a relationship of Seraphina’s that came to an untimely and bitter end because of mental health issues. The ‘Blue Devil’ she speaks of is depression, a metaphor for the deep and destructive sadness that tore her relationship apart as well as being symbolic of the negative feelings and actions that were felt and committed as a result.
“Blue Devil follows on from O M D. It was written about the same relationship but at a much later stage, after it had broken down and I was all out of forgiveness and patience. It’s about how depression can turn someone into a total asshole! How their emotional numbness can feel cruel, and you feel guilty at hating them for it when you know it’s not really their fault. I was so frustrated at not being able to call him out on his shit in the way I would with someone who wasn’t suffering and felt like such a bitch for feeling that way.”