All Around Us
Aug 14, 2015 Issue #54 - August/September 2015 - CHVRCHES
Relative newcomer Briana Marela's latest album—the follow-up to her 2012 self-produced and self-released Speak from your Heart-has been a long time coming. The Seattle native launched a successful Kickstarter campaign in August of 2013 to support her recording the album in Reykjavík, Iceland. The result, nearly two years later, is a beautiful, melodic collection that at times recalls both Lykke Li and Sigur Rós. The latter is especially apt and unsurprising, given that Sigur Rós frontman Jónsi's partner and Jónsi & Alex collaborator, Alex Somers, produced the album. Occasional Sigur Rós contributing ensemble, Amiina, also did strings on All Around Us.
Though Marela wrote in 2013 that Iceland was her first international trip (aside from Canada, briefly), All Around Us is a worldly, global, and harmonious 43 minutes. Marela's fascination lies with sound manipulation and digital music creation tools, techniques (like vocal looping) she employs throughout the album to deepen her already full sound. Her voice echoes gorgeously across nine perfectly ordered tracks, the holistic strength of which increases with each additional play. Listen closely to "Everything Is New" (the seventh song), and you'll notice its perfect symbiosis with lead-in track, "Follow It." All Around Us is an impressive album from Briana Marela, whose collaboration with Alex Somers hopefully has no end date in sight.(www.brianamarela.com)
Author rating: 7.5/10
Average reader rating: 8/10
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