[ SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS
(53:32, Beste Unterhaltung Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. ~ Intermission-I 2:50 2. Inside 4:16 3. Burn 4:39 4. Circles 3:16 5. ~ Intermission-II 0:52 6. Weather Changing 3:03 7. ~ Intermission-III 0:52 8. Scotland 3:55 9. Touching-II 4:02 10. ~ Intermission-IV 0:45 11. Monsters 4:02 12. Serenade 2:30 13. ~ Intermission-V 1:00 14. Would This Be 4:17 15. ~ Intermission-VI 1:49 16. I.B.Too 4:30 17. ~ Intermission-VII 1:07 18. Afis 2:58 LINEUP: Marjana Syomkina – vocals Gleb Kolyadin – piano With: Diakov – violin Filipp Buin – viola Alina Shilova – cello Maxim Rudenko – bass Mikhail Istratov – drums Evgeniy Abzalov – guitars
Prolusion. The Russian band IAMTHEMORNING was formed in 2010, and appears to revolve around the talents of creative duo of Marjana Syomkina and Gleb Kolyadin. Their self described "acoustic/chamber progressive" music found its initial outlet in 2012 with the release of their digitally self released debut album "~", - or "Tilde" if you like, as that is the name of that specific symbol. In 2013 this production was released on CD through the German label Beste Unterhaltung Records.
Analysis. How to describe the music of iamthemorning in a manner and within a context that is easily understood is something of a conundrum. Dream pop inspired chamber music is perhaps the closest I can get if I were to give a brief description. Chamber rock with female vocals is another possibility. If you can imagine music residing somewhere in between those two descriptions we're probably fairly close. There are three key elements to the music explored on "Tilde". The first and most striking of these are the vocals of Marjana Syomkina. She has a clear, compelling voice, carefully controlled and with a subtle naive quality to it. In timbre and delivery fairly close to Anneli Drecker of Norwegian dream pop band Bel Canto, but with Drecker's passionate and dramatic edges replaced with a controlled elegance emotional on a completely and much more fragile scale. The kind of voice men easily can fall in love with, and the kind their respective wives or girlfriends can become jealous of. Without ever seeing the performer I might add. There's also a certain resemblance to the likes of Kate Bush in Syomkina's vocal style and voice, and I suspect those who adore Kate Bush for her vocals will treasure Syomkina's talents in that department just as much. The second key element is the piano motifs of Gleb Kolyadin. Light toned and elegant, providing wandering melodic textures and circulating intricate patterns with an ease that to my mind documents the talents of a truly skilled performer. His delicate textures supplement and emphasize the sheer beauty that is so much a central characteristic of this album in a perfect manner. A fair number of passages and a few instrumental compositions also showcase that his talents shine bright also without supplementing the aforementioned beautiful lead vocals of Marjana Syomkina. The third element here are violin and cello details. From carefully plucked strings and careful, fragile string arrangements to mournful undercurrents and intense, dramatic constructions, the string sections add contrasting, tension inducing elements to the compositions. Always with an ear to the elegant and sophisticated, and only rarely adding anything massively dramatic to the proceedings on a standalone basis. Bass, drums and electric guitar cater for and drive the greater majority of dramatic effects when needed. On a select few occasions the generally classically oriented compositions on this album will shift to a sound and expression with its heart and soul well placed inside a rock music context. Not a dominating trait on this disc as a whole, but a development that does appear fairly frequent, in most cases following a few minutes of arrangements of a more delicate nature. A distinct development effectively applied, adding a new dimension to the sound and style explored by iamthemorning. The end result is a debut album that easily merits a description as beautiful. Chamber music and chamber rock flavored with dream pop details joined in a careful and elegant manner, explored through eleven brief compositions and seven brief intermissions with more of an atmospheric and often ethereal quality to them.
Conclusion. The Russian band iamthemorning has made itself a debut album they can be proud of. Beautiful female lead vocals courtesy of Marjana Syomkina supplemented by equally beautiful piano textures by Gleb Kolyadin, supported by classically oriented string arrangements and occasional rock oriented sections with bass, drums and guitars adding their distinctly contrasting features to this otherwise classically oriented landscape. I'd suggest that fans of artists like Kate Bush and Bel Canto might want to inspect this album, especially those amongst them who also have a taste for classical music in general and chamber music in particular.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: January 17, 2014
[ SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS - LIST | BANDLISTS ]