Bedless Bones is the sonic brainchild of Estonian female artist Kadri Sammel. There isn’t an elaborate story behind the band name. As Kadri explains ‘I wanted to have a moniker for my solo project, that would evoke a certain unease and would have a murky undertone, and also an unexpected element – sort of like my music, I guess. I basically just needed a name to upload my first experimental / ambient tracks on SoundCloud. I didn’t really expect that it would develop much further from that, but now I am stuck with this name’. The debut album “Sublime Malaise” released on Cold Transmission Music is a refreshing piece of music inspired by dark-wave, cold-wave and a few more related genres. I talked about it all with Kadri Sammel.
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: First things first, can you give us some brief background information how you got in touch with underground/electronic music and how did you come to set up Bedless Bones?
Kadri: I have always been drawn to alternative and underground stuff, ever since I consciously started listening to music. But I only ever got around to electronic music that I actually liked sometime in the second half of my teen years. Before that I was into punk, post-punk, alternative-rock. A massive change happened, when I started to visit Beats From The Vault party series here in Tallinn, led by Anders Melts, who later became my partner and bandmate in industrial/deathbeat band Forgotten Sunrise. Anders introduced me to an array of EBM and old-school industrial bands, black-metal, and lots of other obscure & unknown underground music. I had the urge to make my own music for years before, but it was then when I felt really inspired to start my solo project.
Q: Tell us a bit more about the sources of inspiration and possible influences plus the kind of sound you try to create?
Kadri: I never follow a sound, but rather a feeling, and a context in which a sound could be placed. It doesn’t excite me to mimic (or create) a style and then make all songs in that way. I like to see where the music takes me and experiment. I’d say all my songs sound a little different, but they have a certain atmosphere. Again, I usually don’t have direct references in mind while I write music, but now and then I hear things that trigger ideas. My conscious and unconscious inspirations have been Nick Cave, early Fever Ray, Dead Can Dance, Einstürzende Neubauten, nighttime wanderings, my own experiences, people I’ve met, films I’ve seen, art, dreams and nightmares.
Q: You last year released your debut full length “Sublime Malaise”. The title has something intriguing, but what kind of album did you want to accomplish and how do you look back at the global production process?
Kadri: This is such a funny question to me, because I literally had no clue what I was doing. I recorded the album at home and my only goal was to find a label to release it in physical format, so I could show it to my parents -here is the reason and purpose of why I was wasting so much time on this music thing. I was lucky that Cold Transmission Music allowed me to fulfill my vision and put it out just like it was. They have also done all the work with promotion and sales.
Q: I noticed you already composed a new song/single (cf. “The Pyre”), which hasn’t been featured on the album. What is this song all about and do you notice main evolutions compared to “Sublime Malaise”?
Kadri: “The Pyre” is more like a breath in between, not an indicator of where my music is going. I have been surrounded by a lot of dance music recently, because I’ve been playing more as a DJ, so creating something slow, cinematic and quiet was a nice stopover. That is why I released it separately. It was written in the beginning of the virus quarantine and lockdown, so it has a reference to these times as well.
Q: You also have something with clips. The clips are dark and even somewhat tormented, but still artistic (cf. “Limbs Entwined”). What do you want to express throughout the clips and is there a link with the lyrical content of the songs?
Kadri: The visuals come as a reaction to the music, but I don’t follow the lyrics strictly, if at all. With “Limbs Entwined” I always envisioned bizarre movements of the body, and I developed the idea from that. Sometimes I want to have more narration in the visuals (like my first video for “True Devotion”), and sometimes it’s very subtle. But I never want to go too far with the visual implications, because I want the viewer to have their own thoughts and ideas of what it is about -triggering others’ imagination is my main interest and excitement.
Q: I’m always wondered why there’re less women involved with electro-underground music and especially when it comes to the composition process! Do you’ve an explanation and does it mean this scene is just a man- or macho thing?
Kadri: I don’t know. I mean it’s quite hard to do everything yourself, it takes time and work, especially when your previous knowledge and skill set has been quite limited (like it was in my case). It’s much easier to join a band and be the token singer or synth player. I wouldn’t have been able to do it if there weren’t female visionaries, composers, producers & one-woman-armies before me, and they are the ones I look up to the most. I hope there are more to come.