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Ikarus: Through birds, through fire, but not through glass

Eyal Hareuveni By

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The evocative title of the debut EP of the Swiss quintet Ikarus is inspired by a painting of French surrealist painter Yves Tanguy. This trio, as the painter, attempts to create a surreal, cinematic tapestry of dreamy images and reality with its music, its presentation on stage—with the light design and the musicians tailor- made clothes—and its packaging.

The four songs, penned by drummer Ramón Oliveras, emphasize the highly personal cabaret- operatic phrasing of vocalists Stefanie Suhner and Anderas Lareida, singing deceptively catchy melodies over the thick and restful interplay of a jazz piano trio. The trio ornaments the contemporary pop song structures with European folk elements, minimalist soundscapes that consciously reference the Estonian composer Arvo Part musical litanies or Norwegian sonic alchemist Eivind Aarset.

The first song, "Locrya," alternates between playful and expressive wordless song and fragile, searching sonic elements. "Zarastrus" unites the celestial vocals of Suhner and Lareida in an intense and passionate flight. "Sanctuary" is the most dramatic song, revolves around a repetitive rhythmic module, while the vocalists intensify the cinematic tension till it dissolves in a theatrical, vocal gestures. The last song, "City of Glass," is the most impressive. It begins as a beautiful dreamy vocal duet and patiently and gently blossoms as an infectious, rhythmic song and finally settles back on the dreamy vocal coda.

Promising debut.

Track Listing: Locrya; Zarastrus; Sanctuary; City of Glass.

Personnel: Stefanie Suhner: vocal; Anderas Lareida: vocal; Lucca Fries: piano; Mo Meyer: double bass; Ramón Oliveras: drums.

Title: Through birds, through fire, but not through glass | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Self Produced


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