“World Canvas is a blank surface, open to host audiovisual explorations, fictional fantasies and outcries of yearning.” This is the evocative vision statement that introduces the Helsinki via London label and cross-disciplinary platform World Canvas. It is indicative of a curatorial orientation towards narrative, mythology and world-building that has emerged amongst specialized Internet labels in recent years.
The newly incarnated World Canvas is distinguished by a sense of mysticism that feels markedly Nordic. All four of their releases to date have come from Finnish artists who engage with atmosphere and the spatial dimensions of sound in intriguing ways. This is also true of their forthcoming fifth release, the debut EP from Helsinki’s Helena Pulkkinen, entitled when they go under, how they navigate.
On the EP’s lead single “Hello Flower,” Pulkkinen greets the listener with a celestial, reverb-laden vocal refrain. She proceeds to layer and loop her voice over a subtle, swelling rumble, creating a hypnotic blend of low and high octave melodic phrases, which closely resembles the atmospheric vocal stylings of Julianna Barwick. As the track nears its conclusion, the static rumble intensifies, swarming the soft hums for a moment before dropping out entirely, leaving Pulkinnen to resolve the track a cappella. Beauty in simplicity.
When they go under, how they navigate is out 10/07/20 on World Canvas.