Chandeen’s Harald Lowy and Florian Walther pride themselves on making discoveries whenever they make an album. And for “Ocean Mind,” whose video is premiering below from their upcoming 19th release, Mercury Retrograde, the German electronic pop duo is showcasing a couple of its latest finds.
The song’s lyrics were written by French composer Kitty, but the star of the show is Odile, a 16-year-old singer Lowy discovered about two years ago at the same music school his son took guitar lessons. “I saw this girl — she was 13, I think — and she performed an Adele song and played it along with her guitar, without a microphone or any technical help,” Lowy remembers. “It was not difficult to spot her talent, and I was blown away. I was really impressed. At the time I had put together some songs and asked her if she would like to come and try something. I gave her an instrumental and a couple of weeks later we met again in my recording studio; She was very nervous as you could probably understand, but she was also confident and focused. It took a couple of hours and the demo was done. It was a true inspiration to work with such a young artist like that. I learned a lot from Odile.”
Lowy continues that in Odile — who also stars in the “Ocean Mind” video — he found something of an old soul capable of sharing complex emotions beyond her years. “She sings about her own life,” he notes. “(Kitty) wrote these lyrics about Odile, about her young life — her needs and dreams and problems, her heart. She’s a little different,” Lowy explains. “She’s a real artist and she’s a rebel and she’s trying to find her way in this part of life as a singer, as a dancer. And she will.”
Chandeen’s Mercury Retrograde, its first album of new material since Forever and Ever in 2014, is due out Feb. 28 and marks a return to more organic music making for the band. “During production I realized I wanted to work with more vintage stuff, analog,” Lowy says. “We played the whole album with real drums to get a warm and nostalgic sound. We spent a lot of time and did a lot of experiments. I was very excited, inspired, motivated. We had so many songs and a lot of material; It felt like some kind of retrospective because Chandeen started in the ’90s, so I put together all the influences and experiences of our previous albums into this one.”
Lowy is hoping to put some Chandeen live shows together to support Mercury Retrograde. And he’s already working on ideas for the troupe’s next album, hopefully not taking as long as it did this time around. “It’s always a big thing for me to do a Chandeen album,” Lowy says. “It’s my life. Chandeen is the thing I did with my school friends. It’s my companion during my whole life. Now I have children, and a wife, but I’m still making Chandeen albums and I don’t ever want to stop doing that.”