Hailing from Argentina, this trio got their start as early as 1988, composed of the artists Daniel López Quiroga (guitars, bass, arrangements), Karina Atlamiranda (vocals and lyrics) and Federico Aldaz (drums). It was in 1994 when they were launched onto the scene by releasing their album Sun Fell on the Hyperium label famous for their Heavenly Voices compilations where many of us got our first taste of this band. The released a couple of subsequent EPs and then we didn't hear much from them over the years. Now, twenty years later they are back with their new album Rainbow Melodies, picking right back up where they left off.
I was first introduced to this band through the Heaveny Voices compilation, but with their disappearance from the scene, really didn't follow them much over the years. The band features a really nice mix of 80's new wave with modern dream-pop and ethereal styles, mixing in a bit of jazz and shoegaze for a really diverse sound. Bands in similarity range from Cocteau Twins to Chandeen and many others in between. With their re-introduction in 2013, we hope that they won't disappear for another twenty years and look forward to more great albums.
Rainbow Melodies - Review
Reappearing after nearly twenty years being absent from the world of Heavenly Voices, this band returns with their all new album Rainbow Melodies The band has crafted a spectacular masterpiece with this album, spanning moods, tempos and genres but all remaining well within the realm of dreamy ethereal and dreampop music. The band really put a lot of work into this one, presenting us with fourteen spellbinding tracks that hold the listener captivated.
The album kicks off with "Love Is Happiness", a captivating piece that immediately became a favorite on this album. While I may not understand the lyrics completely, the vocals become another instrument amidst the mix of soaring guitars with all the shoegaze reverb coming out while a steady, upbeat rhythm moves everything along for a truly dreamy piece. Karina's vocal talent is truly extraordinary, the first time I listened to the album I was sure there were multiple vocalists. Her dynamic voice shifts from ethereal and angelic to sensual and dreamy from one piece to the next. "Twenty Years Later" picks up next as another spellbinding piece as the heavy percussion lends itself well to the subtle mix of 80's new wave styles of synths and guitars, all the while providing a backdrop for the soft and beautiful vocals. It seems I'm noting nearly every track as a favorite as the album moves along, but that just speaks to the overal dynamic nature of these talented artists. After a short, dreamy instrumental piece, "Raining House" kicks in next and is much like "Love Is Happiness" in it's structure, including the upbeat rhythms and vocals over the beautiful soundscapes of various guitars that really carry the piece well.
At this point the mood shifts a bit from the seemingly happy-go-lucky feel of the first few pieces to a darker, jazz-infused sound across several pieces. This shift caught me off guard the first time I listened to the album after such an upbeat dream-pop style on the first pieces, the soft, moody style with trumpet, saxophone and grooving bass is such a difference, but as I've listened to the album several times, it has really grown on me and is a great dynamic style for the album. "Travel to the End" is the first in this series of laid-back, smooth jazzy pieces. This piece exhibits the huge shift in vocal style as well as musical style and is great mix. "Live Here Forever" shifts even more in vocal and musical style, while the soft guitar chords remain the focal point behind the vocals, after the jazzy guitar does it's solo, toward the end of the track when the saxophone kicks in, then the jazz sound really becomes authentic and beautiful. After another short instrumental marking the halfway point of the album, "Paris Noir" continues the jazzy style for one more piece before we shift again.
Another short instrumental provides a short interlude before drifting into the title track "Rainbow Melodies". The shift from smooth jazz to this downtempo, dreamy style isn't nearly as big as before, in fact it still has a lot of the same elements with the jazzy guitar and the more pronounced vocals rather than the ethereal, dream-pop nature of the first few pieces. "Mystery Dream" picks it back up a bit for a nice dream-pop piece before the album starts to close with a couple more instrumentals and "Ice Star", which serves as kind of a finale, blending and mixing all of the above for a dreamy, closing piece (with exception of the final instrumental track "Sunrise Melodies"). With that, the album comes to a close and so does this review. As I mentioned before, this album has really grown on me and is definitely a current favorite with it's dynamic variety in overall moods, vocals, instruments and musical styles. It's definitely worth picking up and adding to your collection.
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Label: Projekt Records