Afterlight is the artist known previously as Thea Gilmore. With nineteen acclaimed albums released under that name, Afterlight is like Gilmore’s rebirth as a musician. It is not so much that she is moving in a new direction musically but rather that her life has been transformed as she emerges from the shadow of a coercive relationship, in which she had felt trapped since her teenage years. Gilmore’s debut album as Afterlight is an intensely powerful, emotional experience, beginning with the beautifully lyrical spoken-word ‘Of All the Violence I Have Known’. That title alone is an insight into Afterlight’s deeply personal, intimate songwriting.
Afterlight explains: “The saddest thing to me is that my story is a drop in the ocean. These issues that I’m dealing with are being dealt with by millions every second. This kind of coercion, this kind of narrowing of a life by someone else, this theft of self is everywhere. In my case, I was so young, it was all I’d ever known so I had no concept of what freedom from that control felt like until I finally managed to get away. Now, with every day that passes I get further from those boundaries that were set for me. I see what functional relationships both working and personal, based on equity and respect actually look like. I mourn for the 16-year-old in many ways and now I’m trying to figure out who I am without those walls. It’s a long process that I’m only just at the beginning of.”
The latest single from the forthcoming album is ‘Spotlight’, a hauntingly melodic piece. Through the gorgeous vocal tune, Afterlight delivers emotive, piercing words, full of symbols and images: “Here’s a razor wire kiss // A murderous love song // To help find my way out of this.” Check it out.
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