Dia (Frampton) returns after almost six years with a brand new album Bruises with twelve original tracks that possibly tell about Dia’s drifting journey in life and in the music scene post-The Voice. I find it not to have a single trace of the vibe of her solo debut Red. Instead, she replaced it with poignant vulnerability and a kind of sadness that is hopeful. Each track has different transitory themes, from being lost to finding and braving a new path. The album starts with the ethereal aaaahs of “Hope” and stumbling “Out of the Dark.” Dia’s brilliant songwriting is magnificently textured by her authentic breathy voice from the weariness in the “Dead Man” to the soul-uplifting “Don’t Look Back.” Listening to it gives me a sense of both liminality and being lost at sea trying to get back home. Probably one of most well-crafted albums that I’ve heard for the longest time, Bruises is quite a rare genuine emotional experience. [AA] | 5/5
In comparison to What We Saw From The Cheap Seats, Regina Spektor goes for subtlety in her new record Remember Us to Life. It may lack the upbeat and energetic elements of most tracks in the previous record, but this gives more leeway for Regina’s storytelling and playful falsettos. Since most of the tracks are delicately simple, few songs stand out: “Grand Hotel” may sound like something a preschool teacher would compose but with interestingly odd lyrics, “Black And White” is pure nostalgia trapped in a song, and obviously the LSS-inducing track “Bleeding Heart”. Never, never mind, bleeding heart, bleeding heart. Never, never mind your bleeding heart. Regina is definitely one of the songwriters who never run out of stories to tell. | 4/5
Welcome to day two of the 2016 earthings! Fantasy Festival, a week of live performances that’s all just happening in our heads. Today, contributor Allene Allanigue flies in at the last minute with another all-female line-up, which happens to include a former First Lady and a way-too-obvious blog favorite. (Nobody prompted anybody.)
Here we go again: the earthings! Fantasy Festival is back, with five stages of live performances that’s all just happening in our heads. Today, friend of the blog Allene Allanigue plays with a psychological metaphor with her five acts.