Andrina Bollinger — Secret Seed

Andrina Bollinger’s solo debut Secret Seed is a layered, multiplex, and singular expedition into the mind-body of an artist. Think: a Charlie Kaufmann screenplay, or an MC Escher drawing. Call it poetic surrealist-existentialism. Self-reflexive and labyrinthine, the record is a riveting odyssey through the wilderness of contemporary Art Pop bricolage.

The first versions of these songs were written during a residency in Berlin, back in 2018. It was a pivotal point in Andrina’s career. She was exhausted by the “touring-musician’s” lifestyle and felt a growing need to finally start working on her solo project, which was perpetually being put on hold. Up until this point, she split her time between two outfits, both duos: Eclecta and JPTR. Once settled in Berlin, she created a cozy studio environment for herself full of synthesizers, percussion instruments, and all types of sound-making gadgets. She spent her days improvising, composing, and experimenting with different techniques to lyric writing. The initial idea was to produce the record on her own and to play all the instruments as well! That’s how the pre-productions were cut!

The material was solid, but it left her feeling that with the right person, she could push it to the next level. This person turned out to be David Odlum (Sam Smith, The Spice Girls). He suggested that adding more color by including other musicians would help the overall dynamics of the record. So, drummer Arthur Hnatek and bass player Jules Martinet joined the team and the three of them recorded the basic backing tracks, playing together in one room. Concept drummer Julian Sartorius added extra bits (including the sound of a snowboard) to the song Open My Gates. After Andrina edited these sessions, Odlum joined her at her studio in Zürich, where she recorded some additional synths and percussion as well as all the vocals. The latter, apart from the usual top-line rendering, were also used as a source of additional instrumentation, color, and texture (deployed like strings and horns). The piano, which is pretty much omnipresent, was mostly recorded at her parent’s house (they couldn’t find a better sound). The harmonium that appears in the background on Eu Guard (a song sung in Rumantsch, a language spoken exclusively in Engadin, Switzerland) was recorded at her family’s cottage, up in the mountains.

The result is a stunning singer-songwriter opus full of folk, indie, electronica, and jazz inflections. Introspective, tumultuous, soaring, hopeful, and steeped in melancholy—light and dark, often within the same breath. It's the type of record that is full of unexpected turns and unique ways of rendering the world—mostly the world within. Because, fundamentally, it’s a work that grapples with the idea of “the self.” Not the feelings and the thoughts that inhabit it, (that too, of course), but mainly the very vehicle that produces them. Hence, the self is depicted as a house waiting to be explored on Open My Gates, a Not Vital type of castle to get lost in on House. A ship that appears to be on an endless voyage on Ship. It’s a Lynchian doppelgänger on Twin, a seedling infused with future potential on Secret Seed, and a self-regenerative jelly fish on Lento. Aspirations, hang ups, wrestling with time, treasures to be discovered, journeys to be had, and enigmas to be cracked – it’s all in there. And, it’s set to a soundtrack that is as addictive as it is complex. Hands down, this is one of the most interesting and innovative records about self-discovery recorded to date!


Label:Mouthwatering Records
Publishing:Mouthwatering Records
Promotion:Mouthwatering Records,
Mouthwatering Records,