New York-based electronic artist Searmanas releases her first S/T album on July 6 via Cleopatra Records with the lead single, Undo, already out for preview. Hailing from the Shenandoah Valley in rural Virginia, Niabi Aquena has based her musical practice in New York City for almost two decades as a classically trained pianist and vocalist, while her musical evolution has led her to experiment with electronic hardware in ethereal sonic environments with a steady eye on avant-garde electronica and industrial ambiance.
Her seven-track album is filled with adventurous music with a restive approach, gently swinging from dark-ambient soundscapes and chords to ethereal chanting, with underlying industrial-contemporary-electronica. The leading single Undo includes–at just over three minutes–many of her musical culture varieties, and is actually arranged in the original terms of minimal music (nothing much to do with minimal-wave or minimal-electronica) where she exercises her lyrics on a simple but attractive piano riff that progresses to an experimental electronic track, blended with synths and the rest of her hardware.
Her solid voice spills over all of her work.
The whole of the LP doesn’t really run behind its lead–you’ll find inside many other musical, lyrical and artistic “stories” unveiled as chapters and moments or instances that all form an exciting musical journey. And a note for you before you look into your dictionaries: Searmanas moniker derives from Gaelic–it means “ceremony” or “ceremonial,” a word which perfectly fits the music, which perfectly fits the word.
Now that you have a clue on her music you must also check the opener, Phonetics–the industrial greeter of the album and the song which welcomes you in the most convincing way into her musical cosmos. Actually, what will happen is that you are going to repeat each song to catch Searmanas intentions, and honestly, they may all work as a concept album that will drive you through urban sonic episodes to airy ambiances and all within some pretty and discreet “tribal” filters. For example, focus on Liberosis ‘attitude which is way different than the aforementioned tracks and on Crystalized which hides stunning surprises. Throughout the seven tracks, you’ll discover some of the current electronic-contemporary music’s hints that in the near future will be mounted on the musings of the new horizons. Enjoy Searmanas!
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Written by Mike D.