Reflections – Ada Sargatis (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

From the first delicate and dulcet tones of opener Chalice of The Wind, a scene is set for where Reflections goes and what it deals with. These first, haunting sounds seem to drift like sonic mists rather than take on any more substantive musical form, a melancholic dirge floating into your senses on a cold wind. And although the rest of this lush EP takes the form of more structured, dark and magically-infused folk, this first track makes for the perfect backdrop.

I Fell In Love With A Shadow blends ancient lore with deft, finger-picked acoustic guitars which set up a hypnotic sound for Ada Sargatis’ deeply gorgeous vocals to slowly waltz across. And even when she reverts to her native Russian for songs such as Prikhodi Ko Mne – Come To Me – even across a language barrier, the listener can’t help but be beguiled by the sound.

There is something wonderful about listening to music in a language other than your own. The voice becomes an instrument, without the direct communication of the lyrics, it tells its story through mood and emotion, allowing the listener to bring their own thoughts and feelings to the song. This is something that Ada Sargatis is brilliant at, and even if you are unaware of Come To Me’s story, that of a feeling of the lost of self and of trying to cling on to the essence of who you are, such strong emotions and melancholic tones are obvious from the sound of her voice.

This dark and majestic EP finishes with Poka Ty Verish V Menya – While You Have Faith in Me – a song that seems to ooze past the consciousness, slowly crawling forward and swathing itself in ever more beguiling sounds, broken shards of guitar, dark spirals of electronica and washes of brooding sonics. And all the time the vocals whisper intimately in your ear of the contradictions of love, of faith and devotion to powers, of primordial emotions that you can’t even begin to comprehend.

Reflections is a masterful blend of primal folk music and modern electronica but its real power lies in the stories that it tells and Ada Sargatis’ beguiling voice. It is a modern sound echoing with timeless urges and ancient wisdom, and danger too. Gorgeous seems like the wrong word for such bleak and beguiling music but it is a gorgeous collection of songs, nevertheless.

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