I want to begin the year with a little, shiny pearl found on the Internet.
The pearl is an EP called I Came Across A Dreamer, the songs in it are just three, and the artist is Annabel (lee).
What could seem a solo project is really a duo one, created by the wonderful vocalist Sheila Brown Ellis and arranger and producer Richard Ellis. The couple (it is an actual couple) released I Came Across a dreamer on October 26 via Youngbloods, before the eventual release of their third full-length album and in the perfect timing to listen to these end of autumn, moody vibes that characterize the project.
Being just three songs, the EP is so intense and quiet at the same time, a noir jazz atmosphere that finds its place as the background of smoky ballads, a sort of hidden power that slowly releases emotions from the chains of logic. It begins with Circles, containing what I consider one of the most beautiful double bass lines of 2018. I find it pretty sick because of the point where it starts: on the seventh leading to the tonic, repeating at the octave above and finishing with the fifth just before repeating, and after many listenings, it still seems to begin on the fifth of the chord.
However the hook line is given by the piano, playing simple chords that underline the keynotes of the bass, building beautiful smoky layers for the voice of Sheila, that like a painter draws flawlessly melancholic melodies, like an impressionist work of art. Few elements, but very solid. The refrain is the natural prosecution of the matter built in the verse and adds melodic layers, the bass completing the suspended background of the verse and the piano forming watercolors in the air, once unchained from the previous steady chords. Then everything is repeated until the final emotional climax, that slowly silences itself to give more and more space until the end.
The second track, Glow, keeps the mind warm like a cover from the cold. It has its own video clip (you find it on the duo’s Bandcamp page) that stresses the noir jazz component of the music, especially from an aesthetic point of view. Beautiful black and white urban scenes of a nighty Seattle, shot and directed by David Speranza, makes us uncertain and self-doubting. The only lights and colors granted by the sunset. Listening to it is like entering a realm of ethereal sensations, upon which we need to hold on.
The same thing happens in Lovers’ Wing, where the club nature of the music comes out. Smoky, mid-tempo, where music is the tool to reach love, a vehicle, is music for lovers, in every key, surrounded by sweet bird tweets made by a string instrument. The EP closes on this clubby atmosphere just slowly turning the volume knob down, letting the listener surrender to emotions.
This album put a sweet end to 2018, in a pleasantly peaceful way. Just like a honey spoon on the bottom of the tea mug. Let’s see if 2019 will give us the same shivers of I Came Across A Dreamer.
Written for you by Music Pills
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