Rituals – Iamlleya (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Just reading the titles of the tracks found on this gorgeous e.p. suggests that you are about to experience something a bit out of the ordinary, being that they all seem to be themed around ancient Egypt. But as the first song, Nile, opens up, its full understated majesty…if such a thing is possible…is revealed. Iamlleya’s voice is as much an instrument as a means of communication, blending with and weaving around minimalist sonics into a beguiling thread, reminiscent of the sort of exotic experimentation that launched Bat For Lashes career.

Cairo is a more song orientated piece sonically broader and more soundscape driven but no less a sensual dance between vocals and more drifting, transient sounds. For the most part, Iamlleya is content to create intriguing fragments of music that seem to flow past on the breeze, catching the listener unawares before being lost on the warm winds of the Western Desert. And it works. Brilliantly.

Wine and Honey is a swirling embrace between harp and voice, Lotus is pure vocal soundscaping and Pyramids feels like a long-forgotten desert spirit’s voice echoing through to the modern age from thousands of years ago.

Rituals is like little I have heard before and that, in my world at least, is about as big a compliment as I can give a piece of music. Buy it now.

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