On her full-length debut as Sequoyah Tiger, Italian songwriter and performance artist Leila Gharib crafts experimental tunes that echo several past eras of pop and electronic music, but don't attempt to faithfully follow their conventions. From her basement studio, she channels '50s doo wop and '60s girl group melodies through modern recording gear, combining lovelorn vocals with a dreamy, trippy froth of synthesizers, subtle guitars, live drums, and additional hidden sounds. She seems to split facets of her personality into different voices, duetting with herself and sounding closer to a full group than a solo performer. On opener "Another World Around Me," her more reserved side sings the calm yet wondrous lyrics, eventually succeeded by a more boisterous "wah-wah-wah" chorus at the song's end. Obvious single "Punta Otok" is considerably more upbeat, with fast electronic pulsations and spirited vocals, yet somehow the song manages to feel detached and sedated. It almost seems like a cheerleading routine performed in a low-gravity zone. "Where Am I?" has more of a cool, blue sway to it, with soft, nostalgic guitar licks fluttering underneath Gharib's inventive vocal patterns and self-harmonies. "A Place Where People Disappear" and "Brother/Brother" are more intense, with glitchy drums and more commanding vocals. The album concludes with "Brilliant One," an echo-doused ballad that ends with Gharib's voice gradually being filtered into multiple alien-sounding pitches, adding a space age pop twist to a slightly angst-ridden lament. Gharib seems entirely comfortable in her own space, pulling her favorite elements from pop and modifying them to fit with her own personality. At times the stylistic blends and emotional shifts are a bit jarring, but overall, the album is highly creative and quite fun.
|Label:||Morr Music / M.M.|