Sarah Assbring, Swedish singer, multi-instrumentalist, and composer known as El Perro del Mar has shared her new single ‘Kiss of Death.’ Co-produced with Vessel (Fever Ray, Evian Christ, Malibu), with a undulating, cinematic composition bristling with captivating and empowering vocals, ‘Kiss of Death’ further unveils the world of Assbring’s forthcoming album Big Anonymous, which will arrive on February 16th, 2024 via City Slang.
Like the previously released lead single ‘In Silence,’ the new offering ‘Kiss of Death’ arrives with a segment from the larger Big Anonymous art / horror film written by El Perro del Mar, longtime collaborator, stylist Nicole Walker and photographer Joseph Kadow. Watch it below.
Speaking about ‘Kiss of Death,’ Assbring elaborates, “I think of the album as a journey into the Underworld and back. ‘Kiss of Death’ is about returning to the world of the living, scarred but with the insight of how close death is. Loss is a scar. We should carry it with us; not as a threat but as a promise of making the most of the time we’re here.”
Additionally, after supporting José González in Berlin, Assbring will bring the El Perro del Mar live show to the UK and Europe including a show at London’s King’s Place on 8th May. Tickets are on sale this Friday, December 8th at 10 am local time at www.elperrodelmar.com.
Big Anonymous confronts the existential questions surrounding life and death. Having lost a number of family members over the years, Sarah came to realize that she was haunted by grief that wouldn’t go away. She felt guilt for being alive when others were not, which left her dogged by a sense of her own mortality. Although this album draws on her own experiences, it is not meant to be pure autobiography. The theme applies to all of us and she takes on different voices and characters in the songs to potent effect. Ultimately there is a cathartic relief to the record in accepting that life is finite and there’s joy in appreciating and living in the now.
The ten tracks of Big Anonymous originally arose out of a commission from Stockholm’s historic Royal Dramatic Theatre, where together with a choreographer, El Perro del Mar staged a performance concert that premiered in 2019. Along with El Perro del Mar, the musicians were Jacob Haage (her longtime partner and key musical collaborator) and Petter Granberg. The music was later recorded live together with the creative sound engineer Daniel Rejmer using a minimal setup, featuring a drum machine connected to guitar amps and vocals processed through various effects. This served as the fundamental framework for the album. The intention was to create an atmosphere that evoked the underworld — a timeless, occasionally austere, and occasionally intense experience.
El Perro del Mar has been a relentless shape-shifter in the years between her first releases in 2005 to now, on the cusp of her eighth studio album. Her music has encompassed doo-wop redux, mystic ballads, electronic dance, loner’s laments, ecstatic love songs, film soundtracks, dance scores, global pop, political pop, existential pop and more. Upon the release of her debut album Look! It’s El Perro del Mar!, she was soon winning awards, being name checked by David Bowie and touring internationally. In 2016, El Perro del Mar released her seventh full length album, KoKoro. In 2018, El Perro del Mar released the EP We Are History and in 2020, she released the Free Land EP, which features a collaboration with Blood Orange.
Upcoming Live Dates
* = supporting José González
^ = w/ support from Vera Sola
15th February – Berlin, DE @ Theater des Westens*
6th March – Göteborg, SE @ Pustervik
8th March – Stockholm, SE @ Kulturhuset
9th March – Malmö, SE @ Malmö Live
19th March – Seattle, WA @ Barboza^
20th March – Boise, ID @ Treefort Music Fest
22nd March – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom Of The Hill^
23rd March – Los Angeles, CA @ Zebulon
25th March- Chicago, IL @ Old Town School Of Folk Music^
27th March – Philadelphia, PA @ The Lounge at World Cafe Live^
28th March – Brooklyn, NY @ Public Records
29th March – Washington, D.C. @ The Kennedy Center
6th May – Paris, FR @ Badaboum
8th May – London, UK @ Kings Place
21st May- Berlin, DE @ Silent Green
Photo: El Perro del Mar by Hedvig Jenning