Rodina’s last album was gorgeous – Aoife Hearty has a voice to die for – but sometimes it felt as though she was carrying too much of the load. This time around they (Aoife & Joe Tatton) have teamed up with Christian Wolstenholme and the result is seriously trippy and uses her ethereal voice in a brilliant way.
‘Silver Mine’ opens the album sounding as though it carried on from somewhere else and that sense of dislocation carries you throughout the album – even when the electronics are stable and simply creating a soundspace they have set expectations of the unexpected and you, the listener, can never quite settle. The result is rather special.
The electronics are kept at bay by Aoife’s vocals but little touches like the harmonies in ‘Back Down’ or the flamenco guitar riff in the middle of ‘Silver Mine’ help to make this far more than a two-dimensional album. The standout tracks are many but special mention for ‘City Roses’ which has a monumental quality or ‘Rebel’ with a shuffle beat and great percussive qualities.
I love ambient when it is done with focus and depth and not just a swirling morass of sound – Rodina manage to drive the attention all over the place but in the end you are left with a great voice and real music.
A very worthy successor to ‘Over The Sun’.
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