The video, directed by M(h)aol teammate Zoe Greenway, is dedicated to Fears’ late friend Sophie Gwen Williams.
Rising Irish artist, musician and producer Constance Keane (aka Fears) has shared the beautiful single ’16’ with her late close friend and cellist, Sophie Gwen Williams.
Fears also revealed news of a London debut performance at a TULLE Collective live event taking place May 7 at Chat’s Palace, as well as performances at SXSW. The complete program of the TULLE showcase will be announced soon. Get your tickets here. Keane recently performed at the ESNS online festival, delivering a critically acclaimed lit-in-rose show.
Among the rolling rhythms influenced by the traditional Irish drum, the bodhrán, Williams’ cello plucked strings on ’16’ are contrasted by the muted angelic voice of Keane, whose lyrics reflect a difficult past relationship and the freedom that in retrospect offers . Williams’ instrumentals on the poignant track were recorded during a filmed performance of the one and only time the duo got to play the track together.
Williams was an acclaimed performance artist, classically trained musician and trans rights activist from Northern Ireland who co-founded we exist, a charity that raises vital funds to help trans people across the UK pay for healthcare costs. She was also the chairperson and one of the original members of The 343, a Belfast-based queer art collective. Here she also founded 343 radio, which is Ireland’s very first queer radio station.
“Sophie was an amazing artist and a really close friend,” Fears says of her new single. she died before us. Zoe and I dedicate the video for ’16’ to his memory. I had made her a dress for the original performance in pink tulle – the same fabric I have with me in the video. She was a really inspiring and encouraging person, and I wanted to create something that shows how I carry her with me, even though I don’t physically have her here anymore.
Greenway filmed Fears in The Maharees in County Kerry in the southwest of Ireland, an area Keane visited frequently with his family growing up. Keane adds “It’s a very special place for me, and I’ve always wanted to film there, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity.”
Combining reflective electronics, acoustic samples and haunting vocals with organic visuals, Fears invites the listener on an ethereal journey, blurring the lines between music and visual art. Her minimalist approach focuses on emotive subjects, which are both deeply personal and remarkably universal.
His first album Oiche, which means ‘night’ in Irish, was recorded and produced in three rooms, a hospital and, most recently, at the Domino Recording studio in Brixton. Gathered in five years, Oiche tells of growth through challenges, instability and changing relationships, both with oneself and with others. The album feels a bit like a coming-of-age novel about childhood breakdown and the rebuilding of a young woman.
Her minimalist approach centers on emotional subjects: her 2020 single “tonnta” is about her grandmother’s battle with dementia. An intimate representation of discovery, Fears’ debut EP unearths the inner dialogue and makes peace with uncertainty.
Constance Keane is also a member of intersectional, feminist and post-punk band M(h)aol, who recently released their well-received debut EP, gender studies and co-runs the female-led independent label TULLE Collective which focuses on working with and for underrepresented voices in music.
Check out the beautiful video of ’16’ below:
Revisit the Q&A on our Fears Radar here.
Written by fears
Produced by Fears and Joe Brown
Cello by Sophie Gwen Williams
Cello recording by Cameron Stewart
Mastered by Huntley Miller
Artwork by Zoe Greenway
Directed by Zoe Greenway
Assisted by Leigh Arthur, Colman Keane and Ellen Goodwin
Special thanks to Ben Spillane.