If Soap&Skin made folksy ambient music.
Charting exactly what Eartheater will do from one album to the next is quite a difficult thing to map out. Alexandra Drewchin uses her voice and her voice alone as the single anchor between her different projects. After starting out in the folk realm and then pushing towards electronica and dance, her latest album pulls towards a hazy orchestral folk ambience. Dramatic from start to end, Eartheater refuses to standstill.
A large portion of the album basks in dramatic string arrangements that have then been smudged and smeared across your speakers. The opening two tracks ‘Airborne Ashes’ and ‘Metallic Taste of Patience’ are thick and heavy with expressive strings. Behind them, Eartheater’s voice hovers and hides in distant screams, chilly and quirky coo’s. It isn’t until the ethereal folk piece ‘Below The Clavicle’ comes in with its harps and guitars that vocals fit front and centre. When that happens, Eartheater has no issues in showcasing her triple octave range. She reminds me vocally so much of Soap&Skin and that is no bad thing at all.
‘Phoenix: Flames Are Dew Upon My Skin’ then spends the rest of the album revolving around this hazy folk crossover. ‘How to Fight’ feels strangely pillowy whereas ‘Fantasy Collision’ is like a detuned fever dream vision. The whole thing is purposely out of tune and an acquired taste but that is the realm where Eartheater threatens to go over and over throughout the album. Tracks like ‘Mercurial Nerve’ are experimental vocal mirages, ‘Burning Feather’ and ‘Goodbye Diamond’ play with ambience. The quirky Eastern European styled folk style is charming. The final three tracks all sound like Soap&Skin doing folk music. Even down to the chord progressions and vocal nuances. It is really fascinating when two artists remind you of each other despite not really being quite the same thing. The album feels lush without ever feeling full – it is quite heavenly and fluffy in a faun kind of way.
Alexandra Drewchin shapeshifts again and this may be my favourite version of Eartheater to date. Her early fans will likely enjoy this album more than her more recent electronica lovers but if you are need for some post purging folk opera – Eartheater has you covered.
Recommended track: Metallic Taste of Patience
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