English alternative pop duo Arctic Lake are back with the emotionally bare single “Breathe,” out today via Astralwerks. The slow-burning, gently driving song—produced by member Paul Holliman—comes with a fittingly evocative and intimate video.
“Breathe” finds vocalist Emma Foster pleading with a partner who’s closed off—she’s desperate for more connection, feeling suffocated by the relationship’s limitations. Shimmering synths slink around her voice as she asks, “Can I find what’s underneath, won’t you let me know you?” Eventually, a rush of vibrating electronics takes over, but not without her slipping in one more simple request: “I’m just wanting you to hold me.” The video for “Breathe” feels just as personal, with Foster front and center against a blood-red background, her soul-baring lyrics projected right on her face, exposing every vulnerability.
Alongside the release of “Breathe” Emma and Paul Holliman talked about the song’s inspiration, their goals for 2022, and what fans can expect next. Read a full interview with the duo and watch the video for “Breathe” now below.
Prelude Press: Lyrically, “Breathe” is a very vulnerable track, with the video even focusing primarily on the lyrical content. What was the inspiration for the song?
Emma: The inspiration for this one came from the end period of my first relationship. Our communication completely broke down and it felt like we were suffocating. We both had so much to say but we didn’t know how too, we held onto the connection we had or had lost. “Breathe” talks about those feelings and how all you both really want in that situation is to be held and understood.
What would you like for listeners to take away from the song?
Emma: We try to write about human emotions and interaction in everything we do. We hope that people can relate because that’s when music feels it’s most powerful. When it can stir something in you. I feel like most people have experienced being next to someone who they want to reach out too but fear, anger or exhaustion has held them back. If people can relate then we’ll be extremely happy
You’re starting off 2022 with the release of your new single, “Breathe”, which is such a strong contrast to the more upbeat “Lonely”. What made you want this to be your first release of the new year?
Emma: We began this whole adventure with downtempo songs, and we don’t ever want to hide that part of who we are. You will see lots of duality in the music that comes this year and we wanted to start with a piece this year that shows that side.
On top of your own music, you’ve done a ton of collaborations with other artists like ZHU and Lane 8. Do you have any more plans to continue branching out and collaborating with other artists?
Emma: We love collaborating, every time you learn something new, you explore something else and you meet different fans. It’s a beautiful thing creating with someone new, you share something that often tends to touch on something vulnerable and that always feels special. At the moment we’re taking a break while we release an our own music but who knows what’s coming hehe
Is there anyone that you’d love to work with in the future?
Paul: We’ve done a few dance/electronic collabs so I’d love to do something a bit slower and emotional, and I’ve always wanted to hear Emma duet with a nice deep male vocal – there’s a band called Honne who are from the UK and I think the singers voice would be great with Emma’s.
With “Lonely” out late last year and “Breathe” out now, could fans expect to hear some more new music soon? Maybe another EP in the future?
Paul: Yes definitely! This year is going to be full of new music from us and we’re so excited to share it – there may be a collection of songs at some point too, but I’m afraid we’d have to get our lawyers involved to say any more and I really can’t afford the legal bills to be honest.
It’s a bit of a cliche question, but do you have any goals for the new year? Anything you’re looking forward to?
Paul: Musically, we’re just really happy to have loads of stuff to put out this year and hopefully be able to tour properly again – we had a little taste of it last year and it felt so good to play to a crowd again so that would be incredible to carry on without more interruptions. On a personal level, I’ve just introduced my girlfriend to Game of Thrones because she’s never seen it, so I think most of my year will be taken up by watching it again for the fourth time (which is totally fine by me).
Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Paul: Thank you for having us! I’d just like to add that chocolate digestives are in fact the best biscuits in the world – I know we have a different definition of biscuits across the pond though so please don’t put gravy on them.