“Uncertainty and the Unknown” is taken from Briana Marela‘s You Are a Wave, out September 9.
Briana Marela‘s upcoming album is one of rebirth. After being dropped by Jajaguwar because of a too modest commercial success, the Peruvian-American composer entered the MFA program at Mills College. If her return to studies enabled her to deepen her tastes for sound experimentation, the passing of her dad in Peru during the spring of 2020, and the impossibility to travel there because of the restrictions, was another big upheaval to face. Her forthcoming album, You Are a Wave, is the result of these challenging times, a period where she grew up sonically and emotionally by force of circumstances while exploring trauma and loss.
The lyrics of the first single, “Uncertainty and the Unknown,” were written just a week after her father’s death. “Life is so unfair, but we must pursue,” she sings before continuing: “It’s all out of my control. The uncertainty and the unknown.” Built around bubbling samples of homemade instruments, made of simple objects such as rubber bands and egg cartons, the track evokes the brutal collapse of her personal landmarks and the incomprehension in the face of death while showcasing glimmers of wisdom and acceptance. This resilience is also present in the playful instrumentation, with spring-like undertones, which invites us to hang on to life even if “everything is so unsure except the end of something.”
“The video features my family home videos from the 1990s digitized off of VHS and Hi8 tapes,” she stated about the accompanying visuals. “The lyrics and video are deeply personal and very vulnerable, there is a lot of cute and funny footage of me as a child. Mostly filmed by my Uncle Dave, who passed away in 2010, who was like a second father to me. I am comforted by his watchful eye and presence [through his] filming these videos, and these memories of me with my dad and my family.”