Jo Beth Young has captured and released the essence of the dancing ballerina from those music boxes. Her new single, Mechanical Ballerina not only gives the tuttued twister a life and a soul but sends them off to a new ethereal land of dreams.
Piano chords open the tune with Jo Beth’s far away wistful voice setting the scene. Then comes the strings before the vocals and electronic beat bumps you into a song that manages to be rooted in different world.
Mechanical Ballerina is a single from the soundtrack of the film A Doll’s House 20/20.
A Doll’s House
Directed by Philadelphian photographer and author Kyle Cassidy, the film is a contemporary lockdown adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House.
Kyle asked Jo Beth to create the soundtrack for the film after buying her last album Strangers and falling in love with it.
“Creating the soundtrack for A Doll’s House has been a brilliant challenge as well as an honour to work along side Kyle Cassidy having been such a fan of his work for some years,” Jo Beth told ArtsCulture.
“Mechanical Ballerina is written from the position of the main character Nora, and her plight out of a rather ‘Stepford Wives’ mechanical existence. The play was really ahead of its time with feminist themes I think many can relate to today; how we can fit into programmed roles or numb out of reality/ relationship power balances.
“I originally wrote the instrumental first and then Kyle said ‘wouldn’t it be great to have a song?’ We were running out of time, so I wrote and recorded the song in 2 hours and with the help of Jules Bangs (bass), Matt Blackie (beats) and Kev Bolus (Mixing/Mastering) working on it afterwards we managed to pull together something at lightening speed.
“To work with Kyle and all the incredibly talented cast and crew from across the Atlantic has been utterly inspiring. I don’t think I could have put this together quickly if I wasn’t feeling genuinely connected and moved by the project and performances. I’ve certainly cried at some scenes in particular over and again! but I won’t spoil it by saying which ones.”
Mechanical Ballerina is from the soundtrack and not part of her new album, which she is currently working on, but is a good taster of what is to come later this year. It is also marks the very first contemporary release under her real name (after a series of archive and re-releases in 2020).
The song is also her first release under the Wildness Rising Records label. During lockdown in 2020, Jo Beth started a podcast opening deep conversations with women creatives under the name Wildness Rising. She made the decision to merge her small label Wise Queen Records and the podcast with the aim of bringing support and awareness to the work, wisdom and challenges of women creatives.
The single will be available on all major streaming platforms but will also include a special release on her music glue website as a Digital Deluxe version which includes a bonus unreleased track from the film Endless Ephemeral.
Endless Ephemeral builds beautifully – or should that be blooms – with that conjurer’s quality of leading your mind astray on a breeze.
As well as the new album, Jo Beth – who bagged Listen With Monger’s 2019 Best South West Female Artist – is working on two other film projects