Psych pop song to a mother after surreal years - Strange Pill artists release first single, JOANA

The track sets off a fluid project starting with Lana Del Rey's drummer Tom Marsh and electronic music producer Dave Campbell (62nd Cell, Hi-Ryze)


Strange Pill

In the aftermath of the post-pandemic release spree, Strange Pill (Zahara Muñoz-Vicens & Ben Hardy) take off with a track dedicated to Joana, Zahara's mum, who suffered an aggressive lung cancer diagnosed shortly before lockdown, and which the three of them experienced in isolation until the end of 2020.

The song remained untouched due to its emotional weight until this year when they finished it with Dave at YozMaz in Ipswich and mastered it with Brett Shaw at 123 Studios in London.


In Joana, Phil Spector meets Velvet Underground meets Julie Cruise, with sunshine expansiveness and an underlying twilight, carried through with Ben Hardy's dreamy guitars, Tom Marsh's grooving drums and Dave Campbell’s touch of electronic space textures, a starting point for a new music project of the duo in collaboration with other artists that shows their multidimensionality.


In the turmoil of treatment and under pandemic fever in Spain, Ben's father passed away, followed by three more close family members. Through 24hr palliative care at home they managed to write this love song to Joana, who astonishingly kept her sense of humour and sweetness, full acceptance of everything as it came, becoming, as the duo say, “a true zen master”. The song, written in Spanish, depicts a process otherwise unbearable with rawness, with transporting illusions full of care and wonder – it talks about bringing the sea to her when she couldn't go to it any longer, setting up cushioning seaweed to fall into, letting go of walking, and jumping onto a space ship floating through infinity to confront everything together.

Zahara recalls their process:

“the whole thing truly was a psychedelic journey... and the song... it had to be quick, it was going to be Joana's last birthday and her brain metastasis was relentless.. in the nights, with a baby monitor switched on to keep checking on her, we managed to stay minimally creative and recorded this song with a really shitty guitar which is all we had. I had to sing quietly to not wake her up. It was all very lo-fi. We then sent it to Tom in New York who went straight to his studio and the next morning as we woke we had the drum track in our inbox! He had spent our sleeping hours recording, also with the basic equipment he had access to at the time. The following nights Ben kept adding lead guitars and keys arrangements in the early hours after I had gone to sleep by my mother’s side. We just managed to play the rough cut to her before she lost most of her sense of reality”.

“In the same way we kept optimistic for her, the song matches Joana's personality, it has that kind of brightness inspite it all”, adds Ben.

Joana releases on the 14th of October 2022, on her birthday on bandcamp and it will be available in most streaming platforms throughout the following weeks.


Strange Pill are awarded audio visual artists duo formed by Ben Hardy & Zahara Muñoz-Vicens, also musicians, performers and producers. They dedicate most of their time to work around the idea of music as collage and they also collaborate with the band The Cicely Satellites. For more info see Strange Pill profile in Pressparty and their website.

Source Strange Pill

October 14, 2022 6:00am ET by Strange Pill  

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