Eartheater


(Copyright © 2020 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of Use )
Metalepsis (2015), 6/10
RIP Chrysalis (2015), 6.5/10
Irisiri (2018), 6.5/10
Trinity (Pan, 2019), 6/10
Phoenix - Flames Are Dew Upon My Skin (2020), 4.5/10
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Eartheater, the brainchild of New York's singer-songwriter and visual artist Alexandra Drewchin, who was half of Greg Fox's project Guardian Alien, debuted on Metalepsis (Hausu Mountain, 2015) at the intersection of ambient, psychedelia, folk and electronica. The album opens in the alien soundscape of MacroEV, and explores the radioactive drones of the ten-minute instrumental Orbit. Meanwhile, the futuristic chanteuse intones the deconstructed Hawaiian chant Homonyms, fronts the mangled psychedelic rock Youniverse and croons the nocturnal ballad Infinity in a Martian cabaret. Nothing revolutionary but certainly the bold statement of an eccentric and spooky persona.

Just like its predecessor, RIP Chrysalis (Hausu Mountain, 2015) wakes up in an alien soundscape (Utterfly FX). However this time the journey has a more humane feeling, from the classical aria RIP Chrysalis to the folk litany Humyn Hymn and to the Kate Bush-esque melodrama of Wetwave. These are her most straightforward tunes yet. But the emotional core of the album may reside elsewhere, in the disintegrating Herstory of Platypus and in the shivering If it in yin that are more typical of her deconstructionist technique. It is generally a much more melodic affair than the first album. It is also a more intense listening experience.

Irisiri (Pan, 2018), instead, opens with the sound of an harp and the voice of an existential chanteuse in a deeply psychological song, Peripheral. Classical instruments (and classical melodies) haunt the whole album: a violin adornes the scruffy gallop and nursery rhyme of Inclined: And the voice is often immaculate, no matter how decomposed the background, like in Switch, the closest thing to a pop ballad; or in the magniloquent, thundering Bjork-ian melodrama C.L.I.T.; or in the ethereal Trespasses, a mournful chant that could be recorded by convent nuns, and that slowly morphs into a desperate cry. Alas, one third of the album doesn't seem the product of painstaking design and programming. Too many songs sound simplistic and underdeveloped.

The mixtape Trinity (Chemical X, 2019) betrays temptations of house music in Fontanel (produced by Dadras) and Solid Liquid Gas (produced by Hara Kiri), but the abstract soundscape of Prodigal Self (produced by Adrian "Acemo" Mojica) and the syncopated beats of Pearl Diver (also produced by Acemo) push her back into un uncharted sea of experimentation. She occasionally sounds like a simpler Kate Bush, for example in Spill The Milk amid trap beats and oneiric bells (produced by Tony Seltzer). She moves closer to the pop song in Preservation (produced by Lars "Color Plus" Probert) and High Tide (produced by Acemo). The vocals have the quality of a Renaissance convent in Lick My Tears (another Seltzer production) It's a mixed bag but with enough ideas for two or three albums.

Phoenix - Flames Are Dew Upon My Skin (2020), composed over a ten-week artist residency in Spain, contains the orchestral elegy Below The Clavicle and little else.

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