If Kate Bush, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith and Ionna Lee all had a party.
Ani Glass has a fascinating mix of styles with her debut album ‘Mirores’. Using electronica samples that you’d find from cult icon Iamamiwhoami, some weird and wonderful synth work akin at times to Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith (albeit in a more structured way), the music sounds like an alt-pop dream. Ani also holds a voice like a softer brush-stroked Kate Bush and this just adds the album’s charm and intrigue.
The song cyles of ‘Mirores’ is about progress and movement. Throughout the album, you’ll hear traffic moving, audio snippets of bustling cities. They are hidden in and around the beats and synths which align closer to an ABBA from the late ’80s using more experimental synths. The songs have a strong sense of pop hooks – it is just the instruments used to get there are fun and inventive. Add into the mix that Ani sings parts of her songs in Welsh to shine a light on her hometown and you have plenty to dig into.
There are some absolute pop classics here. ‘Ynys Araul’ is a bop for the clubs although it needs a bit of a bass boost to really hit the scene properly. ‘Peirianwaith Perffaith’ is a superb anthem too, full of catchy hooks and airy vocals that can feel otherworldly at the same time. It’s an unusual balance but Ani Glass pulls it off easily – feeling both artsy and direct. The title track feels like it could be a lost Royksopp track and is playful and light. ‘Goloeuo’r Ser’ feels like a late Ionna Lee piece right down to the clubby synths and speedy synths.
Balancing out these direct pop anthems is a lot of experimental synth and ambient work alongside some darker electronica pieces. This is where all of the city sound effects, nature ambient and more celestial side of Ani’s work comes into play. These pieces are a heady mix of sound samples that disorientate you and are made to sound like organised chaos. On the flip side, these tracks often contain layers upon layers of Ani’s soft ooh’s and coo’s to make things feel like slow motion. Closer ‘The Rising of the Moon’ does this beautifully and reminds me a lot of Kate Bush’s ‘Ninth Wave’ where radio signals and hushed voices of ‘Little Earth’ pour in. ‘IBT’ instead is a simple church choir field recording.
Ani Glass is clearly a talented storyteller and musician and this comes out across the entire album. It is an album that shines when listened to as a whole because you feel like you’ve gone on a road trip across Wales and into a space disco. It is also one of those albums that doesn’t reveal how good it is on the first listen. I’ve had it since its release in March and it has taken me a good five months to truly appreciate how dynamic it is. My only gripe is that the album as a whole lacks a little bottom end in the mix but then that allows Ani’s voice to glide easier – so its all personal preference. ‘Mirores’ is a hidden gem in 2020 – you just need to give it time.
Recommended track: Peitianwaith Perffaith
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