Haunting and expressive, Laura Loriga’s music comes across like a Scandinavian landscape; broad, vast yet layered with interest and depth.
Born in Italy but living in the USA, Loriga is a pianist, singer and songwriter that has a knack of evoking emotion in the quietest of places. On the surface her music is thoughtful and open, yet it’s filled with small nuances that require repeat visits. At times her music reminds me of the type of introspective music that Radiohead released twenty years ago but intertwined with folk and thoughtful pop.
We have the twangling guitar, the bottomless drums and beautiful electronica music that underpins the whole thing, check out ‘August Bells’ for a laid-back solo set against brushed percussion and Hammer-horror organ. It works better than it has any right to, but this is the whole point, it’s a mish mash of influences and each one is deftly mixed as not to feel out of place.
The album begins with a sound reminiscent of the great American west, a lone fiddle opens ‘Mimi’, hinting at a journey into the country, but the sound opens to that haunting voice, jazz percussion and you understand immediately that this is not a typical journey. You are under the direction of somebody with a plan.
There are moments of peace within the album, moments where the mood is enough to keep your interest and I think the albums strengths lie in these small corners before the songs begin and the music because immersive. ‘Balmaha’ does this brilliantly, so too ‘Black Rose’ where the simple piano intro leads you into a haunting vocal.
There is an impressive wind section on ‘Passes The Flame’, as if somebody had left the door open and Branford Marsalis had walked in to deliver a jazz section.
We close with ‘The Sun Rises Where it Rises’, it is probably the most upbeat of the tracks yet remains linked to the album by the strange background of electric sounds.
All in all this is an immersive, thoughtful album that bridges genres, it sounds European in its production, not grasping at commercial sounds but sounding industrious, interesting and strong.