October 4, 2018
NAVVI RELEASES NEW ULTRA ALBUM OUT NOW ON HUSH HUSH RECORDS PLAYING TWO SEATTLE SHOWS THIS MONTH
Bandcamp – Spotify – iTunesLISTEN & SHARE: NAVVI – “Human Highlight Reel” (Track)LISTEN & SHARE: NAVVI – “Sampaguita” (Track)
“The electrifying blend of all-consuming widescreen beats, with a soulful, angelic voice, balances effervescence and raw power with unmistakable grace.” – Earmilk
“Sharp vibes and sultry vocals permeate as subtle recollections of the past punctuate like grammatical perfection.” – All Things Go
“their most impressive collection to date” –The 405
“Dusky North American electronica with a sinister edge.” –NME Magazine
“The duo perfectly mixed exalting electro-pop with equally glitchy monochromatic elegance, and it was not a one off occurrence.” –The Line of Best Fit
“When you listen to NAVVI it’s almost as if life slows down. The soft percussion and synthesized undertones coax you into this sonic environment conducive to deep thinking, or not thinking at all.” –Pigeons and Planes
October 13th – Seattle, WA – KEXP: Taste Of Iceland In Seattle
October 18th – Seattle, WA – Sonic Boom Records
NAVVI’s Kristin Henry and Brad Boettger are driving through the expanse of Utah. The word “Ultra” had been simmering in the back of Boettger’s mind – prior, he thought nothing more than just liking the sound of the word, but seeing the sky turn several shades of blue and orange with solitary mountains brimming in the distance, it all began to coalesce. He throws out the idea of calling the new album ULTRA. Henry’s in the driver’s seat, watching the same sky change colors from her rearview mirror. Struck by the moment as well, she agrees without hesitation. When the band returned from tour, Boettger composed the instrumentals that would become the massive title track to ULTRA, their sophomore LP out Sept. 28 via Hush Hush Records.
The Seattle electronic/pop duo says they felt fatigued after releasing their debut album, Omni, but found themselves centered on the idea of expansiveness. Not just creating something that sounds bigger, but something that expanded the band’s palette, something that exuded a confidence in who they were. Thus the idea of “ultra” became a mission statement – an anchor to tie themselves to. It gave them direction as they went about crafting their electrifying blend of Boettger’s titanic, consuming, widescreen beats and Henry’s voice – a wonder in its own right that balances effervescence and raw power with unmistakable grace. Boettger says the word allowed him to “just keep going back to that stretch of driving. If I was lost, I could go back to what that felt like. I could go back to what that reminded me of and to what sparked in me… it helped me make sense of some of the stuff I was doing.”
“That word [Ultra] took over my life last year,” Henry says. “There were a lot of things going on last summer and I just needed something to hold on to and that word was there.”
Henry confides that just prior to heading out on the aforementioned tour, she began experiencing panic attacks.
“I went to the doctor and he was like, ‘I think your problem is that you know that you could’ve been so many different incredible things and now you have to mourn all those other things,’” she recalls. “I had to mourn all these things that I could’ve been. I have all these different versions of myself in my head and they stay with me.”
As work began on the record, she says she learned to mourn and celebrate every part of herself. Everything that is, every thing that isn’t, and everything that could’ve been. When Boettger sent her to the instrumental for “ULTRA,” it was just after another panic episode. As she listened and the mountainous bass line came in after the reverent swirls of synthesizer arpeggios, she was struck by how much the music felt to her like the sensation of a panic attack.
“Everything is calm and then all of a sudden you feel a hint of it in you and you don’t know where it’s coming from,” she says. “You never expect it. You can’t anticipate it. This just resonated with me so hard. That was the idea I was fixated on and I just built on it song after song. That’s what I was feeling: all my selves. Everything. The entire spectrum.”
Remarkably, Boettger and Henry hardly talked about the themes within the record – if even at all. They just worked. For a band that has constantly thrived on their duality, they found themselves even more in sync than ever while making ULTRA. Without even directly discussing the ideas they each had in mind for the album, they found each other creatively. Boettger began exploring with new sonic textures and colors with Henry’s voice unearthing the emotive themes residing within the beats. You can feel it in the methodical thuds and bounce clanking in the rhythms while Henry’s voice glides with poise on “Sampaguita,” the touches of deep house booming against the echoing vocal samples on “Young Hearts,” and the trip-hop night drive of “Us.”
ULTRA is not just the sound of a band experimenting out of their comfort zone, but two entities pushing themselves toward pure, untainted collaboration. It’s a feeling of trust between two artists with a common, unspoken goal. It’s a newfound boldness birthed from turning inward, mourning, and priding yourself in the process. It’s ULTRA.
The collaborative vision of vocalist Kristin Henry and producer Brad Boettger, Seattle-based electronic duo NAVVI carry an instantly magnetic presence. First emerging with their debut single in 2013, their confident take on brooding, propulsive, darkly-lit synth-pop has been on display over a steady string of self-released singles, an inclusion on a compilation curated by the French label Kitsuné, as well as their excellent 2014 EP, II. Press outlets such as NME, Brooklyn Vegan, Impose, Line of Best Fit, and Jay-Z’s Life+Times have all been quick to praise their alluring sound, and they’ve been handpicked by the Capitol Hill Block Party and KEXP to perform on stages all across Seattle. Their debut full-length album Omni arrived in May 2016, further introducing listeners to their hypnotic sound, a rich fusion of crisp beats, driving rhythms, evocative guitars, nocturnal atmospheres, and Kristin’s intoxicating ethereal vocals. The album was released by Seattle-based independent label Hush Hush Records run by KEXP DJ Alex Ruder. On September 28th, NAVVI are set to return to Hush Hush with their highly-anticipated sophomore album ULTRA, another stunning entry into their filler-free catalog.