We welcome the extraordinarily talented ELDR to our platform with immense pleasure. Emerging as a force in the atmospheric music scene, ELDR, the brainchild of Marina Elderton, brings a unique blend of raw emotion and captivating soundscapes. Her latest single, ‘Deer Skin’, released on May 1, is a masterful follow-up to her critically acclaimed EP ‘HÖLY STRANGER’. I am thrilled to share this compelling track and its evocative accompanying music video with our audience. It is a beautiful exploration of a complex and painful theme: coercive relationships. Now, let’s delve into the most.

“Deer Skin” opens with the striking lines, “When you coerce me, it is appealing; when you coerce me, it is endearing,” immediately setting a chilling and intimate tone. ELDR’s ethereal and otherworldly vocals instantly set the mood with an amazing performance. She delivers the lyrics honestly, conveying the confusion and fear that often accompany a coercive dynamic. Her voice, however, also flickers with a hint of defiance, hinting at the strength that lies beneath the surface. Her delivery was powerful and drew me into the narrative.

Lyrically, the song tackles the harrowing territory of a manipulative relationship. Lines like “Peel off my deer skin and dig your heels in” paint a vivid picture of entrapment and vulnerability. The chorus, with its repeated “Bleat bleat, bleat bleat,” evokes a sense of desperation and a yearning for escape. However, a glimmer of hope emerges in the second verse: “It is returning, a second hearing, and all the earth sings, for endless healing.” The imagery of collective support and the promise of recovery offers a powerful counterpoint to the darkness of the first verse.

The production itself is a marvel. Hypnotic rhythms intertwine with plucked textures, creating a soundscape that’s both beautiful and unsettling. Lo-fi beats from frequent collaborator Knut Jonas Sellevold provide the foundation, while earthy harp riffs by Andy Aquarius add a touch of organic beauty. The result is a unique sonic tapestry that channels the energy of Portishead, Bjork, and Joanna Newsom, all with ELDR’s artistic stamp. To me, every layer of instrumentation is meticulously placed, creating a dynamic range that underpins the vocal performance of ELDR.

But “Deer Skin” isn’t just about the music. The accompanying music video, directed by Philip James McGoldrick, takes the narrative to a whole new level. Shot in grainy black and white within the confines of an abandoned church, the video utilizes dance as a powerful language to explore themes of abuse, coercion, subjugation, and even racism. The choreography, by Alex Kamienski, is particularly stunning, with a central performance by Modest Mulenga that embodies the struggle for freedom.

Overall, “Deer Skin” is not an easy listen, but it’s a necessary one. It’s a brave and unflinching look at the dark side of love, wrapped in a hauntingly beautiful soundscape. ELDR confronts this difficult subject matter with courage and artistry, crafting a song that’s both beautiful and disturbing with powerful vocals, unique instrumentation, and thought-provoking visuals that serve as a powerful extension of the song’s message, making “Deer Skin” a complete artistic statement. We’re thrilled to have ELDR here, and we eagerly await what she creates next.

Listen to “Deer Skin”  by ELDR on Spotify and let us know your thoughts.

You can follow ELDR here for more information.