Alexia Avina All That I Can't See
Published May 16, 2019Alexia Avina waited until midnight to record the songs on All That I Can't See while in the French countryside, making space and time clear informants on this sophomore release.
These eight songs — which follow 2018's intimate Betting on an Island — share between them a dreamy sparseness. The Montreal artist uses looped vocals and effected instrumentation to create something as ethereal as it is folk-bound.
Beginning in whimsical territory with "Adult," the album makes gentle forays into experimentation. "Friends" locks down with foregrounded vocals offering images of sidewalks, parking lots and snow. "Pasture" sprinkles in ambient birdsong, where nature meets the man-made. The penultimate "Like Fog" follows an electronic synth guide that lends a haunting tone to a track that rolls as the title suggests.
Avina creates hooks, but seems to glide over them instead of lingering, notable on the melancholy drift and vocal loops of "Attitude." All the while, she excels in bridging clarity with atmosphere: "Dream" beckons towards the ocean or a deep forest, with its lightly haunted guitar and fuzzy outro.
Avina's recording experiments pay off. The mix of organic and electronic on All That I Can't See meld together into a record that speaks to the subconscious using time and space as senses. (Independent)