Géonne Hartman will release her debut album He Went To The Sea on April 22nd. The album was produced with Tessa Rose Jackson in Amsterdam.
From a young age, singing to Géonne Hartman feels like walking around the block, like turning on a small light, but actually just like breathing or eating. The similarity with the latter two is that they are indispensable things, and that is indeed how singing feels to her. Inspired by artists such as Laura Marling and Joni Mitchell, Géonne Hartman started writing her own unique and narrative songs. The Weather Station and Becca Stevens also became great examples for her because these women often write their music from concepts and they send uncompromising and form-free songs into the world. This is how Géonne Hartman developed her own style, with exciting rhythms and unexpected endings, sometimes fairytale-like, like an Irish landscape, sometimes penetratingly soft, like a thought that escapes you. She constantly observes the world, people and herself and then turns those observations and stories into songs.
He Went To The Sea is an indie-folk concept album and is about two people who have split up, but are still very much connected. The album is about breaking free, or coming to terms with the fact that this fact is no longer holding them back but is a kind of power. A driving force. Up the mountain, into the landscape. In the beginning of the album they are still together, but soon there is a crack in the perfect picture. From that moment on Géonne tries to find her way in the world where she used to be with two, and now she’s left alone. This is how it feels and seems at first, but at some point additional voices enter the palette. Eventually a new light breaks through, not as bright as she would like, but certainly light, and she feels that she is on the threshold of a new beginning, with new people. But she will always take something with her from the first beginning.
That the songs are filled with seas, rivers and lakes is not surprising. Both her grandfathers were skippers. One sailed the Dutch rivers, and the other went across the sea to Scotland and Denmark. Her mother lost her father when she was 18, and for a long time she had the feeling that he was still at sea, because he was often away for weeks. At one point she felt it: he is no longer there. The title He Went To The Sea therefore has a double meaning for Géonne.