Sisters Clementine and Valentine Nixon make music drawn from nomadic family heritage that conjures unique moods of contrasts: ancient and modern, paradise and isolation, beauty and brokenness, ritual and the right now.
Raised itinerantly between New Zealand and Hong Kong, the sisters cut their teeth performing in renegade gallery spaces and rogue music venues across Hong Kong’s abandoned industrial estates, performing experimental noise and futuristic dream-pop under the moniker Purple Pilgrims.
The duo have since toured the world extensively alongside the likes of Ariel Pink, Aldous Harding, John Maus, and Weyes Blood. It’s a lifestyle embedded in their lineage; travelling musicians and performers go back hundreds of years on their maternal side (as documented on recordings such as The Travelling Stewarts, from 1968). As children, the sisters were taught to sing traditional balladry by their grandmother, daughter of revered Traveller musician Davie Stewart (later recorded by Alan Lomax).
While their prior works were self-produced and released via cult underground labels, the sisters have steadily refined their craft into a more fully realised and sophisticated new sound. They now perform under their birth names, and have begun collaborating with world-renowned musicians and producers – from producer Randall Dunn (Oneohtrix Point Never, Danny Elfman, Jim Jarmusch) to legendary drummer Matt Chamberlain (David Bowie, Lana Del Rey, Fiona Apple). Their new album The Coin that Broke the Fountain Floor marks a pivotal moment in the creative evolution of Clementine and Valentine Nixon – regal and richly layered, shimmering and softly orchestral, an accumulation of songcraft stretching back centuries.