Kellarissa “Flamingo” (Mint Records, 2009)
I like this so much right now
Opening just like another Cat Power acolyte Larissa Loyva wrong foots this reviewer - the piano melody of ‘I’ll Sing of Kings’ with its accompanying pretty vocal is an entrancing combination but one that has been heard many times before. Fear not though because it doesn’t take long for the record to derail the conventional. ‘Night Wind’ has looping electronic noises like rhythms chasing their own tails whilst the vocals flow over it reaching a chorus, and choruses (or more accurately, vocal hooks) are what she is good at; ‘Flamingo’ may only have one word for the chorus but she sure does make good use of all three syllables turning them into sensual licks of sweetness on a stick of melting synths.
There’s something of CocoRosie about her, a freedom to match the beautiful with whatever she wants - her voice is always a river of sweetness running through whether it is the formal courtly ‘Pienet Sonat’ or a looping call to prayer of ‘Carrying On’ which mixes clarity with shapeless lumps of percussive noise that grow ever louder before overwhelming everything. Nothing could crush the bright sunny caged bird singing of ‘Tiny Things’ where her voice reminds me of Sheen Easton - not the song though, that’s altogether more exotic, though with a ghostly darkness beneath the surface.
The devotional ‘Virta Vie’ leaves her more exposed, a single note droning whilst her plainsong vocal hovers above it becoming more impassioned before whipcracks of electronics flay the penitent vocal. Her voice draws everything in and provides a unity throughout leaving the music to go where it needs. It makes for an intriguing listen, the synthesis of pop, avant garde and world music being achieved without leaning too heavily on any one element.
Date review added: Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Reviewer: David Cowling
Related web link: Flamingoland