Katie Von Schleicher announces her new album, Consummation, out May 22nd via Ba Da Bing. Today, Von Schleicher presents its lead single, “Caged Sleep,” as well as an ominous accompanying video directed by Matt Strickland. “Caged Sleep” is a jagged, upbeat Krautrock track, and one of the last written for the album. “While the rest of the songs were being mixed, I had a vivid dream with a snake the color of lapis lazuli,” says Von Schleicher. “That became ‘Caged Sleep,’ an ode to a dream that ended a period of my life. Some people hate dream stories, so for those humans: I have included saxophones, synthesizers and claps to court your attention.”
Watch Katie Von Schleicher’s Video for “Caged Sleep”
Throughout Consummation, Von Schleicher blasts past the lo-fi power ballads of her debut Shitty Hits (2017) with a severe expansion of her sonic palette; its 13 shape-shifting songs depict a deeply personal exploration of trauma. The result is both potent and listenable; strange and familiar; intense and entertaining—and, perhaps most of all, teeming with life.
Von Schleicher pulls the listener in from the outset. Consummation’s songs vary in genre and tempo, ranging from a pulsating, electronic rocker to a melancholic, cosmic ballad. There’s even a brief, haunting crooner of a track. What they share is lyrical concision, emotional heft, and conscientious production.
Consummation is, in part, inspired by an alternate interpretation of Hitchcock’s Vertigo. In
2018, Von Schleicher rewatched the seminal film and was struck by its largely unanalyzed
subtext of abuse. She knew immediately that this hidden narrative, which spoke to her
personal experience, would be the basis of her next album.
While writing and engineering the record, she found sanctuary in the words of other women:
namely, Carmen Maria Machado’s Her Body and Other Parties, Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy,
and Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost. The latter proved particularly influential;
soon after revisiting Vertigo, Von Schleicher stumbled upon Solnit’s lacerating take on the film. Solnit describes the “wandering, stalking, haunting” of romantic pursuit that it depicts as “consummation,” while “real communion”—understanding and mutual respect between two lovers—is, to the men in the film, “unimaginable.” The consequence is a fundamental failure of communication. At its core, Consummation evokes the pain of being unable to bridge that vast psychic distance between oneself and another.