Helena Deland returns with the poignant elegy “Swimmer”

Helena Deland shares new track “Swimmer” and announces US and EU tour with Andy Shauf.

After dabbling in electronica with Hildegard last year, Helena Deland is resuming her solo career of introspective, soothing indie pop. Besides her collaborations with Men I Trust and JPEGMAFIA, Deland left a lasting mark in 2020 with Someone New, a powerful collection of guitar-heavy songs that drew comparisons to Big Thief.

Now, Helena Deland is back with a new single. An elegy for her recently passed mother, “Swimmer” is her most poignant track to date, a song whose every note is permeated by grief. Beautiful in its simplicity, it tugs on the heartstrings by delegating on a wall of vocal harmonies softly whispered over acoustic guitar arpeggios. Other than a few brushes of piano turning up unannounced by the end and some intermittent droning synths that grant it an eerie character, the song remains naked to the bone throughout its running time.

Co-directed by Deland and Alexander Walsh, the video for “Swimmer” — filmed from a helicopter — includes some gorgeous aerial shots of Montreal that are almost as heart-melting as the song. Coupled with the lyrics, the video effectively begs you to combat the finiteness of our lives by basking in the allure of nature: “Look at this, the world still spins and beauty will never go / It was there before and will be there more when there’s no I to behold.”

Helena Deland will be busy travelling around the world for the next few months. After a brief stint supporting The Weather Station in late February, she will embark on a two-month tour with Andy Shauf across the USA and Europe.