Chamber pop for those who need a boost.
Jelena Ćirić certainly has a melting pot of cultures and influences from her travels. Born in Serbia, raised in Canada, studied music in Spain, lived in Mexico and now resides in Iceland. Now that is one well used passport. The reason I mention it as an opening gambit for her debut EP ‘Shelters One’ is that can hear little nuggets of different cultures in her music. The piano-based singer-songwriter pulls from folk influences from her travels and places them in her smooth piano momentos.
Jelena’s music is probably best described as easy listening for those who don’t want the easy route most of the time. The music follows a lot of chamber pop’s finest but gives it a warmer, lighter tone rather than being a ‘woe is me’ rhetoric. ‘In Time’ is a slow and swaying jazz ballad that allows Jelena’s voice to soar above the gentle piano and brushed drums. The accordion and strings add a flavour of folk to it. ‘Concrete’ adds a little Regina Spektor to the mix with a cabaret playful delivery of pizzicato strings and strong vocals. Amanda Palmer would be very proud too. Its the outlier of the EP though as the other tracks are far softer. Ćirić’s clean and honest vocals carry the warm closer ‘Loughbreeze’ that waltzes like a Christmas morning. Opener and lead single ‘Lines’ channels Joanna Hogg and Iona. The sparky track uses handclaps and folksy arrangements to give an uplifting comment on finding surprises in unexpected places.
One of the interesting things I thought after I finished the EP was that I felt like I both did and didn’t really know Jelena Ćirić at all. The leaning towards smooth Nordic classical is here, but so is the cabaret wink of a chamber pop angel in waiting. Where she goes next, we can only speculate but this is a strong opening chord that should find a home for many who are looking for a little happy boost to their chamber pop.
Recommended track: Lines
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