Among the revelations on Ziemba’s new record, that she is a romantic might be the most shocking of all. The artist and journalist also known as René Kladzyk has always toyed with relationships, though typically between energies rather than explicit affairs. Her 2015 record Hope Is Never was more about reaction than grief, and Ardis, the triple-album odyssey from 2018, lived in its own incredibly diverse biosphere.
Ziemba’s next album, True Romantic, to be released on September 25th via Sister Polygon, shows a back-to-basics mentality, though on a higher level than ever before. Watch her in the video for the double-edged single “Harbor Me” below.
“This song took me by surprise, it has an energy to it that I don’t entirely understand, and it doesn’t fully feel like it came from me. I guess that’s why I feel tempted to credit the boat itself as a co-author. I wanted the music video to have that same immediacy and visceral presence that the song has. It was exciting and fun and a little scary at times, dancing through the streets at night. We rehearsed over the course of two evenings until we got it right. I think ‘exciting, fun, a little scary’ is how I’d hope this song would be described, or at least is how I perceive it, so the video is fitting.”
– René Kladzyk
The title track off True Romantic was rather sentimental, with hidden tongue-in-cheek jabs, yet “Harbor Me” contains unmasked desperation. Fittingly, given its title, it was written and demoed on a boat. Howl enthusiasts will recognize the vessel—at the time, Ziemba was aboard the docked S.S. Vallejo, the ferry where Timothy Leary, Alan Watts, and Allen Ginsberg used to host their “Houseboat Summit.” The song itself is invigorating, if also uneasy—the latter a direct contribution from the haunted Vallejo.
Kladzyk is now a multi-hyphenate. She has been working as a reporter for El Paso Matters, a digital publication that “focuses on in-depth and investigative reporting about the El Paso Borderland region”—something Kladzyk has been doing through her music for years already. And that is just the tip of her activism. She also built a database of women and non-binary people in the music industry called Future Music Industry. It is a concrete step toward dismantling the patriarchy and it becomes more relevant every day.
by: Zoë Elaine