I Think I Can See the Ocean
Stunning Models On Display
Elaine LaChica has a beautiful voice, classically trained and powerful. Her achingly sweet soprano soars from low to high and back down again, massaging your frontal lobes with an aural sensuality, like staring at amber while eating honey.
The arrangements on I Think I Can See the Ocean are spare and open enough to showcase that amazing voice with minimal (and minimalist) distraction. Simple keyboard, bass, drums, and synth or strings lay back while she sings, then fill in the spaces where she doesn’t. It’s a gorgeously produced album by Kieran Kelly, who has also worked with Julia Stone, WIll Stratton, and The Receiver at The Buddy Project in New York (where Sufjan Stevens recorded Illinois). It guest-lists quite a lineup of downtown musicians.
The album jumps off to a rollicking, very poppy “Behind My Mind,” before settling into the moodier “Tumbleweed.” Slow, almost dirge-like rhythms, dreamy synth effects, lots of reverb and vibrato, and just simply wide open gaps in the arrangements become the leitmotif of most of the rest of the songs on this album.
Occasionally the music jumps back into gear with a well-placed horn riff or cymbal smash, and it turns a neat euro-disco beat à la Kate Bush on “Jinx the Line,” one of my favorites on this album. And “April Train” somehow simultaneously evokes both Roy Orbison and the Cocteau Twins.
Not surprisingly, she lists the Twins among influences which also include Radiohead, Bach, Debussy, and Arvo Part, and if you listen you can hear a little bit of them all. This is excellent rainy day music with a glass of wine and a good book.
Stunning Models On Display: www.stunningmodelsondisplay.com