"Seraphim," the latest single from Anna Mieke's forthcoming album Theatre that's out November 18, is a warm embrace of stealthily picked guitar, saxophone ringlets, propelling drums, and a voice that's both decadent and woody, like temple-cleansing incense. Although the track's title draws from celestial beings that stand in the presence of God (the word translating to "fiery ones"), Anna Mieke's enchanting piece is an abstract scene of whispered woes, flights from a maddening crowd, memories of dancing, and drinking up the light. Anna Mieke might only leave us with partial images, but her music is an enigmatic spectacle to absorb, droplets of truth appearing with every replay.
"I wrote it in 2018 while in Finland," she explains. "I spent a month in Hyrynsalmi, eight hours north of Helsinki, staying in an old school house in the middle of a forest with a group of other artists as part of a residency. I was given a huge barn to use as a space to play; one whole wall was just glass, looking out into the trees. There was a swing hanging from the rafters which I’d sit in and play guitar."
The single comes with an Anna Heisterkamp–directed video where crowds run along rocky terrain and flower-faced dancers move with ease. "When Anna and I first met to discuss 'Seraphim,' we realized the video was coming together around a coincidence: both of us are named after aunts who passed away before we got to meet them," Heisterkamp reveals. "This video is grappling with the idea of overcoming loss by sharing something with another, as well as focusing on what the song sounds like and how to move to it. Ultimately the video is looking at how your body always wants to react and how you can shape it continuously away from that."
"'Seraphim' touches on loss, the ‘passing on’ of grief, and the different ways it’s expressed," she adds. "But for me, there’s something really uplifting about the song too, and having family and close friends in the video really means a lot."
Watch "Seraphim" below, and pre-order Theatre here.