Clarissa Connelly - World of Work
LP Review

Writer: Afraa Al Hassan
Edited: Malak Al Suwaihel
Published: April 19th 2024

Artwork: Oliver Laumann
Photography: Amy Gwatkin
Mixed: Clarissa Connelly, Jens Ramon & Mikkel Bolding

Warp Records

Clarissa Connelly's mesmerizing debut album, "World of Work," released under Warp Records, is a captivating fusion of influences, seamlessly blending Nordic Folk, experimental, and modern compositions. Drawing heavily from her Scottish and Danish roots, Connelly crafts a sonic landscape that resonates with depth and complexity.

Inspired by French philosopher Georges Bataille, "World of Work" delves into the timeless themes of Work and Desire, drawing from a rich tapestry of influences spanning centuries, including the wisdom of French philosophers, 12th-century letters, visions from Catholic Saints, and the poetry of William Blake. Central to this exploration is the idea that amidst the distractions of daily life, we often forget to value our souls, echoing Bataille's observation that we remain unaware of our true nature.

The album guides listeners through a journey of self-discovery, from the innocence of childhood to the complexities of adulthood, urging us to confront our fears and grapple with the unsettling realities of mortality. Opening with the ethereal "Into this, Called Loneliness," the fusion of classical and gospel melodies intertwine harmoniously with existential lyrics, creating an enthralling musical journey. The latest single, "An Embroidery," serves as a testament to Connelly's musical evolution. Reflecting on the release, Connelly shares, "An Embroidery was one of the first songs I wrote for World of Work. It truly is about gathering all the threads and making an embroidery; making an album." This is accompanied by compelling visuals in which reality morphs into an animated realm.

Themes of morality and mortality resound in tracks like "Life of The Forbidden," heavily resonating with the current situations in the world. It is complemented with visuals that further enhance the track's essence by conjuring an eerie atmosphere, featuring a shadowy figure that sways in repetition along with a person dashing beneath a spotlight, evoking a chilling effect. While "Wee Rosebud" celebrates the vitality of life capturing the lively spirits of a Cèilidh, which comes from the Gaelic word for 'party' or 'gathering'. As the video unfolds, people are brimming with radiant smiles and joyful dancing that shifts into inviting warm red hues, creating a sense of spiritual resonance.  The album concludes with "S.O.S. Song of the Sword," a dream-like synthesis that gently builds momentum before seamlessly transitioning back to the opening track.

Throughout "World of Work," Connelly celebrates the coexistence of Work and Desire within us, reminding listeners that they are not opposing forces but integral aspects of the human experience. In embracing this duality, the album offers a profound reflection on the interconnectedness of existence and the richness of the human condition.

Connelly will perform "World of Work" with a full band at King's Place for the first time in London on the 15th of May.