This coming Tuesday (September 20th) Tori Amos drops her classically influenced new album Night Of Hunters (listen to it now in its entirety on NPR), which she likes to refer to as a 21st century song cycle. To be 100% honest, I wasn’t all that crazy about the album when I first listened to it, but now I can’t seem to stop playing it, it’s a sonic masterpiece that requires multiple listenings to fully grasp. I cannot wait to see Tori play some of the new tracks live (with a string quartet in tow) when she swings by Los Angeles in December (I’ll be at both shows). Below is a recently released digital EPK, I absolutely love hearing Tori discuss the album’s lofty concept, it definitely adds a new layer of understanding and appreciation.
According to Amos, the concept centers on a woman who is left alone on the eve of her relationship’s demise in an old Georgian house near the River Bandon, located on the outskirts of Kinsale, County Cork in Ireland. As dusk turns to night, the woman is confronted by Annabelle, a shapeshifting “childlike creature” who “emerges from nature”, played by Amos’ daughter. The mythical creature, representing “duality”, as well as the ancient forces of “the hunter” and “the hunted”, coaxes the woman to follow her into the night, transporting them both approximately three-thousand years into the past to witness a previous incarnation of the woman’s relationship. It was a time of great chaos and violence in ancient Ireland as a war of beliefs raged on, and the woman and her lover fought side-by-side as bards, using the ancient tree alphabet as their only weapon. Once the war was lost, however, the woman and her lover crossed the Atlantic on his sailboat, abandoning her world, the New World, in favor of his world, the Old World. It was during this time that forces, both within and outside of their control, drew the couple apart. After their sojourn into the past, Annabelle inducts the woman in an ancient peyote ritual which is meant to further expand her consciousness through both hallucinogenic and meditative means. During the ritual, Annabelle helps the woman realize how she abandoned her own fire and inner-strength when she left her world in favor of her lover’s. The woman also sees how both she and her former lover interchangeably misused the ancient forces of “the hunter” and “the hunted” against one another throughout the course of their union. This self-destructive dynamic, in turn, also plagued the present-day incarnation of their relationship. Once the ritual and woman’s self-examination are complete, Annabelle reminds her of the perils and benefits found in using and misusing the ancient energies of “the hunter” and “the hunted”. The creature also advises the woman that there are “forces” at work that must be dealt with and that she must leave her so that she alone may face the Fire Muse, played by Amos’ niece. In meeting the mythical goddess, the woman is allowed to recapture the fire and inner-strength she had abandoned, both in her past and present incarnations, and is taught about the “light” and “dark” forces of the world at large. The Fire Muse reminds the woman that more than just her own mortal pains and desires are of concern and, together, as the fiery goddess calls upon the woman to see the world from a higher perspective, they weave a spell to protect the light of the world from the forces of darkness. The woman ends her journey at dawn, renewed and grateful for her place in the world and for all of the people that have inhabited her life, including her former lover. SOURCE