Singer/songwriter Kristine Leschper led Mothers for eight years (their most recent LP was 2018's Render Another Ugly Method), but she's now retired the moniker and shared her first single under her own name, "Figure And I," via ANTI-. "For the first time, I used my hands to clap out a rhythm that spoke to me," she says. "I don’t have much experience with percussion, so I was thrilled by the ease and accessibility of using hands as an instrument. It’s such a long-standing and fundamental way of making sound in folk traditions around the world, and to use it makes me feel rooted in a deeper sense of time. As a poet, too, I hold an enthusiasm for the symbolism of hands, as a symbol of work, of community or offering, or holding and being held."
Lynne Sachs directed the accompanying video, which you can watch below. "Kristine Leschper wrote to me with a very intriguing proposition: create a short film in response to her song 'Figure and I,'" Lynne says. "I knew that this deeply rhythmic two-minute song needed some kind of somatic imagery. I needed to move with my body and my camera as I was shooting it. A few days later, I went to 'The New Woman Behind the Camera' exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. In this show, I saw two photos by two women photographers from the 1920s whose work I had never seen before. These images guided me to a way of interpreting the physicality and the intimacy of Kristine’s song. Soon afterward, I invited my friend Kim Wilberforce to be in my film and to interpret the song herself, through her vibrant wardrobe and her precise, ecstatic clapping gestures."