Ilya – Fathoms Deep (2012)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 40:15 minutes | 574 MB | Genre: Trip Hop, Lounge
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: www.bowers-wilkins.co.uk | © RealWorld
Ilya are, predominantly, Joanna Swan and Nick Pullin. Fronted by an intriguing and compelling voice, reclusive, unpredictable, mercurial , the only consistent thing about them is that Joana’s voice and singing improve with every album.
From their lounge-pop debut (2004’s ‘They Died For Beauty’) Joanna Swan and Ilya have trodden a musical path that is wide-ranging and eclectic. The Guardian’s Adam Sweeting puts it this way: Ilya’s “music comes close to being indescribable…Edmundo Ross-style dance music, cool jazz, modern jazz, Hungarian dances and grand opera.”
In a series of beautifully crafted albums Ilya have been, by turns, lush, romantic, sparse, challenging and always unexpected. But for their latest release, ‘Fathoms Deep’, Ilya have taken their strangest, and riskiest, musical direction to date.
Arriving at one of the last residential studios in Britain (Rockfield, in Wales) with a few handpicked musicians to record songs live, with no rehearsal, is, to say the least, challenging. And considering that Ilya, with two core members (Joanna Swan and Nick Pullin), are not and have never been, a live band, such a move could have been career suicide.
Thankfully, the results prove otherwise. ‘Fathoms Deep’ shows a band at the height of their powers, searching for a more spontaneous, improvised approach to their music and succeeding wildly. Enhanced by top quality sonics only a high end recording studio can provide, ‘Fathoms Deep’ has that loose, swaggering confidence produced by musicians who, at the peak of their game, have the freedom to break loose and go wherever the music takes them.
Although ‘Fathoms Deep’ is based around songs that were pre-written, then presented to the musicians in the studio, and though some overdubs were added later, it is in essence a live album: an album that contains the oddest hybrid of prog-folk, jazz-soul and blues-rock that you’ll ever hear. And soaring above it all, Joanna Swan’s extraordinary voice, travelling in a heartbeat from exquisite, ethereal tenderness to a gargantuan blues howl.
This is music, steeped in the past that sounds eerily like the future.
1 Port Erin Fair 4:25
2 Lean Down 4:15
3 On Vauxhall Bridge 5:43
4 Little Lamb 6:10
5 Hollow 5:00
6 Falcondale 5:53
7 I Fall 4:24
8 All I Got 5:50
9 In The Spring 5:22
10 20 Fathoms Deep 5:16