Originally meant to be a one-song, cloud-based collaboration, Olugbenga Adelekan (Metronomy) and Gareth Jones (Jumping Back Slash) found a musical chemistry that has blossomed into a longer creative partnership, their methods defying distance with the help of music software Ableton and messaging services.
Olugbenga travelled over to South Africa from Brighton in early 2018 and the duo completed an album"s worth of material over three weeks in the small town of Knysna.
It was their first meeting in real life and Olugbenga's longest time in Africa since his teen years.
Everyday experiences seeped into the music – getting haircuts while listening to barbershop chatter as local music played on the radio, swimming in the lagoon after long studio days, driving around Knysna running errands and observing the unfolding news of drought and political turmoil in Cape Town and beyond.
January Is The Cruelest Month was the first track recorded in those sessions.
It is a meditation on the power of physical environments to shape emotional ones.
Devoid of drums, the song's fragile vocal is supported only by a bed of razor sharp synths and nocturnal atmospherics.
The final lyric admonishes the listener, "Stay afloat if you can hear me."
It is a line that takes on extra significance set against the danger of rising sea levels.
The track is accompanied by
a stunning visual made completely from footage of the Antarctic taken by Greenpeace
during the voyage of the Arctic Sunrise earlier this year.