ELDR: Weaving Cinematic Soundscapes into “Deer Skin”

ELDR's "Deer Skin" is an exploration of the human experience
ELDR - Deer Skin | Songlens Music Magazine

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Hailing from the very fabric of the London music scene is ELDR, the project of artist and multi-award-winning film composer Marina Elderton, who announces her new single release “Deer Skin,” out on May 1, 2024. Credited with producing deeply emotive music that collides between chilling vocals within lo-fi rhythms and textured soundscapes, ELDR once again transcends the boundaries of indie music with each release.

Marina Elderton on Many Levels

This, therefore, means that Marina Elderton is more than just a musician—she is a critically acclaimed film composer. An awardee of the PRS Women Make Music fund and a Scholar from the National Film & Television School, her compositions have been featured in projects for the BBC, Sky Arts, BFI, and Film 4. A few other works by her worth mentioning include the soundtrack for the film “Poly Styrene: I AM A CLICHÉ.” It brought her the award for ‘Best Documentary’ at the British Independent Film Awards, and the ‘Raindance Discovery Award,’ with a nomination for Scottish BAFTA.

The Evolution of Her Music

Coming after the critical success of her sophomore EP ‘HÖLY STRANGER’ from last year, which featured the single “Friends” premiered by WONDERLAND MAGAZINE, ELDR brings to the world “Deer Skin,” a single that refuses to conform to any box. Hypnotic lo-fi beats are twisted up with plucked textures and Elderton’s otherworldly voice to create an intense, foreboding sonic landscape. Elderton is joined on the single by Norwegian lo-fi beats producer Knut Jonas Sellevold, alongside guitar strands and earthy harp by Berlin-based artist Andy Aquarius, simultaneously threading the energies of iconic acts Portishead, Björk, and Joanna Newsom.

A Powerful Visual Narrative

The video for “Deer Skin,” directed by Philip James McGoldrick and lensed by DP Luciana Riso, is a powerful visual narrative. Shot in grainy black and white in a disused church, the video takes on issues of abuse, coercion, and subjugation, along with racism. Choreographed by the talented Alex Kamienski, the mighty performance of Modest Mulenga tells of a hunt—in line with the thematics of the song. The video, produced by Elderton’s own EMC Productions in partnership with Cooke Lenses, remains a very powerful snapshot of historical injustices and racial violence.

Motherhood and Artistic Journey

In 2020, following the release of her debut EP, ‘Defender,’ Elderton gave birth in the ennui of lockdown. This life shift facilitated the creative birth of ‘ELDR:TV,’ an at-home, DIY reality web series about being a mother in music. The series went on to garner her first award, Best Documentary Series at Sydney Webfest, and now streams on SeekaTV. With a journey like Elderton’s, one knows for sure that family can mix with the music industry, hence music and family are not mutually exclusive.

Innovative Projects

ELDR has never missed out on any innovation in projects. In 2023, she curated a VR headset experience and staged the premiere video screening of ‘Black Pearl’ on a virtual island. These were exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. These immersive experiences she creates and curates highlight her ability to blend music with cinematic storytelling.

Deep Emotional Roots

Drawing from a background that includes occultism and organized religion, Elderton’s songwriting embraces vulnerability, darkness, and light. And it’s right there in “Deer Skin,” a song born from her experience in a coercive and psychologically abusive relationship. Speaking about the track, Elderton said, “Deer Skin paints the tale of being in a coercive and psychologically abusive relationship—something I’ve experienced personally. What can be confusing are the parallel sensations of love and fear. The somewhat alluring power dynamic constantly at play makes you feel like a deer being hunted and teased.”

Looking Ahead

With “Deer Skin,” ELDR continues to cement herself as a compelling force in the indie space. Blending the cinematic with the deeply personal and emotive, she’s sure to captivate listeners and viewers alike.

For updates on ELDR’s music and projects, follow her on Spotify and Instagram.


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