On a cool October night, Brooklyn-based folk-singer Katie Schottland (who records as Swimming Bell) was driving back to Los Angeles from a friend's wedding in Joshua Tree when she became lost. After a few wrong turns, and with her cell phone quickly dying, she pulled over and set up to spend the night in the desert. As she tried to get some rest, the sounds of the night began to intrude on her sleep. When her imagination finally got the better of her, she took out her guitar and wrote a lullaby to take her mind off the noises that were trying to creep into her car.
The resulting song, "Desert Song (a lullaby)," is eerie and beautiful, a push back against the darkness that threatens to engulf us at every turn. Schottland's ethereal voice acts as our guide while her guitar echoes and shakes the shadows from our view. There's a sense of rhythmic persuasion here, a shivering awareness of what the night holds and how best to keep it at bay. The track feels like it was siphoned from the desert air, a collection of atmospheric elements that hang suspended in that circulating wind and dust. She doesn't use this music to get rid of her fears so much as she uses it to face them and reshape them on her own terms. They provide inspiration for how to handle the troubles and danger that life can throw at you from time to time.
Recorded at Virtue and Vice Studios in Brooklyn and produced by Oli Deakin (of Lowpines), the song is the latest project between Deakin and Schottland, who met in Brooklyn in the fall of 2016. They produced and released her 2017 debut EP, "The Golden Heart," in October of last year. They're currently working on a new record which is set for release sometime later this summer.