Photo by Adam Cresswell
Alice Hubble first started work on her debut album Polarlichter in 2016, but some of the sentiments behind its radiant synthscapes go back quite a bit further. You can trace “We Are Still Alone,” out today as a single, all the way to 2007, when the London electronic artist and her brother lost their father–it was a second devastating hit after the passing of their mother ten years earlier.
“My experience of grief is that it is isolating, and whilst you’re processing what happened, you likely won’t be able to be there for others in the way you would like to,” she says. “Losing both of our parents at a young age was hard, and though you go on because you have to, it’s not something you ever get over.”
13 years after that loss, though, Hubble–real name Alice Hubley–brings a sunny, forward-looking overtone to “We Are Still Alone” with an easy, bobbing beat and gentle mellotron flutes. Pangs of regret shoot through the lyrics, but always with hope for reconciliation in relationships strained by grief.
“Over time, the experience becomes a part of your story, things become easier to navigate, and you can be there for each other in the way you want to be. Though the song comes from a sad place, the overarching themes are of love, renewal, and a hope to make amends.”
The song originally came out in 2019 with the rest of Polarlichter, but the single release expands on it with a new music video, a remix by Pye Corner Audio, and two short musical themes contributed by Roman Angelos, one of Hubley’s labelmates on Happy Robots Records.
It also comes packaged with an acoustic reimagining of the album’s title track, “Polarlichter,” in collaboration with Andy Abbott. Earlier this year, Hubley and Abbot jointly released an experimental album under the name ADRA Hubble.
One of the strengths of Hubley’s synth pieces is the way thoughtful, drawn-out loops allow her to work her way all around an idea, whether it’s a simple, shiny keyboard vibe or the many facets of grief. With all the bonus goodies goodies, the expanded release of “We Are Still Alone” compounds the effect. It’s available to stream and download now, with new material in the works for 2021.