On first listen, Pia Silvi's latest release Ombra continues down the mysterious and beguiling path of her previous albums. It is only after a few listens that the complexity, scope and dark mystery of her latest offering starts to reveal itself.
Beginning with the haunting Marina, it is clear that Pia has become more comfortable with foregrounding her ethereal vocals over the layers of rich, gorgeous sound that she has become known for, and the result is astonishing.
A more assured and confident album, Ombra also seems to be a more positive and life-affirming experience, as the second track Broken Head But All Mended Now promises.
Straddling worlds as diverse as ambient electronica, contemporary classical and hints of dance music, O1mbra is an almost unclassifiable album that transcends generic convention whilst maintaining a powerful sense of purpose and integrity. Pia's lyrics on Ombra are typically startling and magical, evoking a long-forgotten mythical landscape that is somehow firmly connected to us all.
Qui Primum, the fourth track on the album, begins as a soundscape of echoed bells and evolves into a stunning vocal journey that both reflects Pia's diverse and fascinating musical interests and her determination to push the boundaries of electronic and classical music. The track is typical of an album full of quietly imaginative journeys which demand your full attention but are more satisfying with every listen.
Like the best of the ambient/new age genre, Virtually Handsewn is a work of true originality. Sample any of the tracks on iTunes and you'll hear what I mean....but start with A Boy And A River!
Pia Silvi has been creating sumptuous, otherworldly and spiritual electronic music, floating somewhere between classical, film soundtracks and strange electric ambient pop, for years. But with Virtually Handsewn she has really outdone herself, retaining the strangeness, beauty and experimental nature of earlier releases but with an even greater sense of charm and melody this time around.
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