Feather by BREATHE: Album Review

British artist BREATHE releases his new album soon and gave me the opportunity to have a listen and share my thoughts on it. With particular interests in metal and progressive music, it’s clear that his eclectic style has yet to transform into a particular sound. However, this latest album certainly brings together many elements that the Seed EP did not, and is a step in the right direction to finding his niche.

The album begins with the familiar prelude of Seed vol 1, with its low, sultry piano chords and excellently timed beat. Lift, with vocals by Helen Victory, was an amazing match. The vocal prowess of Victory lends itself to the crescendo of the music, especially when she transitions into her falsetto. I would have liked to hear the drums come crashing in straight after the vocals; I found myself waiting for the beat to come in for too long.

Back Again had seemless transitions between sections, with the vocals sung in a different accent than the usual American (a nice change). I think Matthew James (the vocalist) needs to work on supporting his voice through his diaphragm so his pitch is more steady, but definitely has potential as a singer. The Clay interlude reminded me of a ticking clock, with the subtle build up of layers and brief break in the middle creating an interesting sonic picture reminiscent of typical movie scenes where a character travels to a new and exciting place.

BREATHE

With vocals by Jake Brown and Zahid Qureshi, the title track Feather poses an interesting contrast. The lyrics are quite heavy, and the lightness of the piano brings out the emotional significance of the vocal line. It also contrasts with the effect put on the melody, creating what sounds like a physical distance when the whole song is quite personal. Probably the best part of the song was when the electric guitar cane in. Definitely a good choice to bring the message home.

The last two tracks, Nerves and Seed vol 2 were probably my personal favourites. The former had an interesting solo guitar bit intermingled with arpeggios on the piano, and although together they sounded confusing, both parts separately were catchy. Will Heggadon’s falsetto was amazing, transitioning between his vocal ranges was also expertly executed. Seed vol 2 was based loosely on a pentatonic scale, differing enough from the other tracks to make it interesting but not enough to seem out of place.

Interview with Aaalyssa DeBoer

Genesis, the debut album for rising star Aaalyssa DeBoer is set to release on the 27th of August. A combination of electronic house and experimental, Aaalyssa worked hard to find her sound and perfect it for her new album. Earlier this week, Aaalyssa was kind enough to answer a few of my questions on music, life and Genesis. 

1. For readers who may be new to your music, how would you characterise your sound?
I don’t want to label it but my music can generally be put into the category of minimal house. It can also be classified as experimental. I put a lot of classical vibes into my music though.

2. Your new album Genesis comes out late this month, what was the inspiration behind the work?
My inspiration would have to be my imagination. It’s like what if you were sneaking amidst a revolution? What if you’re wandering through the forest and you catch a glimpse of a faerie? My imagination is that of a child and I use that to my advantage.

ion on Aaalyssa check out her website

Genesis by Aaalyssa DeBoer EP Review

Minimal House artist Aaalyssa DeBoer released her latest EP Genesis on the 27th of August. Although there are only four tracks included, she uses that time to show her increasing talent in the field. Especially in the middle two tracks, it is obvious that she has been honing her skills, with very smooth transitioning and amicable stylistic choices. 

The first track, entitled Genesis, employed the use of a dampened beat. I would have liked it better if that beat was used throughout the track rather than in certain sections. What would have also improved the song is if the dampened beat faded out of into a connected section. Aurora Trailing was had a much smoother sound, with interesting layers that sounded almost contrapuntal. The constant beat was also helpful in orientating oneself in the song. My only criticism of this track was that it faded out too quickly in the final few seconds. A more gradual decrescendo or a continuation of the basic beat into the next song would have been easier on the ears.

I was very impressed by the seamless fluidity in which the melody transitioned from a piano sound to an electronic sound in This Is Not Reality. As the track had a subtle beat rather than a driving one, I think this song in particular would have benefitted from a loud, celebratory climactic section. In Blue Jets and Red Sprites I was quite surprised to find myself listening to a bit of a swing beat. In techno music, the main focus is keeping a steady beat. When a rhythm is swung it feels like it lags behind the beat; because of this I wasn’t sure whether Aaalyssa’s endeavour would work. However, I was pleased to hear that it worked exceptionally well, the only negative thing about it was that it wasn’t in the forefront enough for my liking.