Lover’s Toil is a song about taking a chance on love. It may very well end but you take a chance on it anyhow. Not knowing what you may pay in the end or what others want out of it. You throw yourself head first.
Opal Onyx are a New York based duo made up of Sarah Nowicki and Matthew Robinson. Their name drawn from the scintillating light of opal and the opaque darkness of onyx, exploring the light and the dark that balances our world.
Sarah Nowicki and Matthew Robinson might have cut their teeth in the basements, attics, warehouses and patios of the Brooklyn DIY scene, but that’s not where Opal Onyx really began. It was, in fact, a hair salon in Cleveland, Ohio, where they first laid down the foundations for this astounding musical project. Robinson was the receptionist there. “I was begging for somebody interesting to walk in,” he says. “And then Sarah came through the door!”
Nowicki was in search of work, but also armed with a CD of self-recorded songs that demanded to be listened to. “I heard he played the cello and started getting really excited because I had all these songs. At the end of the day, flipped it to Matt, he listened to it in his car, turned straight back around, ran back into the shop and said ‘we have to make music together’.” A few years later, when Robinson moved to New York, Nowicki soon followed, a deep creative bond was formed.
The sonic landscape they craft is always shifting but feels permanent and always itself, like a deep, dark, river flowing slowly into the night. Steely electro morphs slowly and serenely into headspinning trip-hop, lathered in texture, then again into something organic and tender as distant sweeps of strings move elegantly into the foreground. Nowicki’s voice is the transfixing permanent presence, a guide through Opal Onyx’ mystic soundscapes. It has been five years since the album’s predecessor, the acclaimed Delta Sands, but that is not because their creative ambition ever let up. Nowicki had to leave New York for six months to take on personal issues, but she never stopped working. “I was always writing music though, throughout that whole time, and so was Matt. We were always inspired throughout that whole time, and in a way this album was very healing for us.” “We have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of songs and things that we’ve written over the last five years. We could probably release a lot of records next year!”
Opal Onyx’s new releases might appear mysterious and multi-faceted, always moving one way or another, conjuring up ethereal and unknowable imagery, yet in many ways the title tells you everything you need to know. “We were both going through lots of crazy, stupid personal drama. That’s just life, but we’ve collected all of that within this record. We wanted to put it in a place, a container or vessel, and now it’s like detonating a device in the middle of the desert.” Nowicki agrees. “It’s our therapeutic vessel we can put everything in to, a form of therapy that means we can transcend everything and see our creative vision more clearly.”
WATCH ‘Lovers Toil’ video HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZ7IjeBp5sg
Order album ‘Vessel’ HERE: https://tinangelrecords.bandcamp.com/album/vessel