Premiere: I’d Still Say Yes by Awakened Souls & Pepo Galán

A sublime new transatlantic collaboration comes our way in December thanks to Seattle’s Hush Hush Records, a label curated by KEXP DJ Alex Ruder whose weekly Pacific Notions show has become a welcome Sunday morning fixture for a growing audience of ambient listeners around the globe. Palettes is a mini-album consisting of five deeply immersive tracks that bring together the ethereal atmospherics of the Los Angeles-based husband/wife duo of Cynthia Bernard and veteran electronic musician James Bernard known as awakened souls, and the emotive sound sculpting of Pepo Galán, a Spanish composer/musician based in Málaga who also helps co-run the El Muelle label. The seeds of the new album were sown when the artists first crossed paths while working on another project…

After doing a rework of one of Pepo Galán’s songs (featured on Pepo’s Soledad album released in October 2020 by Stereoscenic Records), awakened souls reached out to Pepo to see if he would want to collaborate on new original material. Pepo happily sent files of songs and ideas over to James and Cynthia who were immediately inspired by their lush, spacious, and widescreen sounds. The duo then built these foundational sketches into full songs using their own meditative and healing sounds. The artistic approach behind these creations gave the musicians a sense of painting songs into existence, yielding the release’s title of “Palettes”. Embedded into [its] rich emotional and romantic streak is the artists’ shared passion for poet Pablo Neruda, his work seeping into the song’s track titles, lyrics, and overarching aesthetics.

hush hush records

Links: Bandcamp (tape/digital) | awakened souls | Pepo Galán | Hush Hush Records

That shared poetic vision is abundantly evident in this first preview of the new record entitled “I’d Still Say Yes” where the styles of these artists fuse seamlessly in a gorgeous piece of quiescent shoegaze dream-pop awash in a monochromatic sea of ambient swells.

Palettes will be available beginning December 4 on digital & limited edition casette (30 copies). The album was mastered by Taylor Deupree and features artwork & layout by Pepo Galán.