After the roaring success of her stunning self-produced single Seven last year, Berlin-based singer and songwriter Yvonne Ambrée aka Panteon has now returned with her vibrant new offering Waking Waiting.
Channelling more of that warm and rustic approach she has delivered so far, Waking Waiting sees her return in rejuvenated spirits. Adopting little more than a wistfully played piano and her own sweeping voice, this new delight is the rich and romantic ode to broken love we all need right now.
So with the new single available now, we joined her in a chat to find out more about her latest release and what she has planned for the future.
Hi Yvonne, how are you today?
I’m actually doing well considering the rather depressing circumstances we find ourselves in these days …with the pandemic and the grey and rainy season (at least in Germany). Trying to stay busy.
For those that haven’t heard of you yet, how would you best describe your sound and who have been your biggest influences so far?
My sound is heavily influenced by old analogue gear. I use a lot of analogue drum machines and other synths as well as old instruments and things (that can turn into instruments), which I find at the flea market. It’s not really a sound out of the box but mostly organic. A lot of wobbly guitar sounds as well. Maybe something in between surfer indie folk and singer songwriter with a bit of a timeless vibe to it – definitely more on the mellow side. I’m still hoping to write a dance song one of these days. I’m really trying but it hasn’t worked out so far.
Biggest influences – a lot. From Joni Mitchell to Mac DeMarco, Feist, Kate Bush, Gillian Welch, Nancy Wilson, Sufjan Stevens, Jeff Buckley, Irma Thomas…too many to mention. I’m listening to Moses Sumney and Kelsey Lu a lot lately.
Really like their style but not sure if I am being influenced by them. Maybe.
You are also based in Berlin, can you tell us how the music scene there has influenced your sound recently?
I am Berlin born. I actually moved to NYC and it felt like a good escape from the rather predictable music scene in Berlin ( in my opinion…sorry if I’m making some people angry with this comment ) . If I would be really into electronic music I think Berlin is a good spot …it’s also a good spot to get around in Europe and still have a creative open city to call your home. As for music, maybe I never really found the right people. I was influenced by my parents and the music of the former GDR – East Germany. They had some great bands and singers back then. Countries under oppression tend to have an interesting cultural scene so I guess that plays more into my musical influences than the Berlin music scene today.
You have just released your new single ‘Waking Waiting’. Can you tell us how that track came about? What is the story behind it?
I wrote the song after moving back to Berlin in 2019. I actually wrote it one morning and finished recording it that same night. It really just came out – a lot of sadness and being in a state of limbo for a while. Moving into a new situation with not being really there and shifting between these two realities. Old and new. The lyrics are pretty straightforward as well. I think people know, when they take a listen.
And was there a particular style you were going for when you wrote it?
Not really. I just start working with whatever it is that wants to come out. I don’t think I could write a song thinking it should sound like this or that artist/song. Maybe later in the process of producing it but never when I start the writing process.
It also follows your recent release ‘Seven’. Can you tell us how this new one differs from that?
Seven is more of a produced track while “waking waiting” is really minimal in form of instrumentation etc. . It felt like a good sleepy winter tune – not too demanding and like a little boat floating around in a big lake.
The pandemic is still affecting everyone’s plans right now, but what have you got in store for the year ahead?
My second album will come out in April and I already started writing new songs so I think I will be releasing even more new music after the summer. Hopefully I can play a few shows but as long as that’s not an option I just keep on writing. I don’t mind it actually. I learn so much and feel I’m getting better at it as well. It feels nice.
And finally, what has been the most surprising or unusual moment of your career so far?
Standing next to Thom Yorke twice in one day and not being able to say a word although I really wanted to. My body just didn’t (re)act. What a shame – I’m hoping for third times a charm.
Panteon’s new single Waking Waiting is available to stream and download now. Watch the new video for it below.