What does Stefania Avolio sound like?
A mixture of contemporary classical elements and electronica, this time for the mystical beings that indulge in a synth or two.
The review of Stefania Avolio – Roots of Rebirth
When I came across Stefania Avolio’s previous album “Natural Element”, I was struck by how intertwined her electronica and classical ideas were. It isn’t often you have a classical pianist taking things to the dance floor with additional singer-songwriter vocals. Where “Natural Element” was primal, Stefania’s follow-up “Roots of Rebirth” is more mystical.
Avolio’s music still carries the ominous tone from before but this time around its shifted sensibilities. Tracks like “Dress of Flowers” are more ethereal and this is because Stefania is using her voice throughout the album. A part-time element of her previous music, this time around her voice is central. Often calling out like an echo and then manipulated like a drone, it provides an otherworldly but motherly comfort to the music. Elsewhere the beautiful “Shell” relies on layers of vocals to create a choir of Avolio’s as a safety net over quirky electronic keyboard samples.
The most overtly dancey track is the opener ” A Special Something”. It brings on a techno arpeggiator but muffles it into another room so it’s like a party is taking place across the street. It’s a really neat set up and that kind of out-of-reach synth set up ops up across the album in different guises. “Naked” merges these synths with organs like they are organic modular synths, and whilst the track verges on new age at times, its hypnotic pull is undeniable.
Look beyond the initial electronics though and Stefania Avolio still places her piano central to most of her music. It’s also where she channels an inner Hania Rani. Tracks like “Loneliness” and “No Time” are standouts. Both bring excellent piano melodies, wrapped in a muddied and distorted vocal that evokes a dark wonder. “No Time” in particular feels like a culmination of production cleverness, technical skill and excellent songwriting and is a shining example of what Stefania Avolio is capable of.
If you took darkwave synths and placed them in a mystical piano-driven classical setting and added some drum loops and vocals – you’d arrive close to “Roots of Rebirth”. The pull for this album is down to Stefania creating a sound that feels calmly ominous. You get lulled into a sense of relaxation and comfort. All the while, you feel like the music is built on a darkness you can’t quite put your finger on. It’s an odd feeling to have but it pulls the listener in. It certainly pulled me in. Whilst there is a gothic rough edge here and there, it adds to the charm and personality of the album. If you enjoy the darker side of calm contemporary classical music, Stefania Avolio is for you.
Recommended track: No Time
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