The cover to Via Tania’s record Via Tania & the Tomorrow Music Orchestra looks deceptively like something from the Blue Note catalogue, with Tania looking like a vintage jazz singer or big band leader. In fact we have something a bit more vulnerable; a wonderful selection of airy, bluesy, folk tunes with some wonderful orchestral accompaniment, it will inevitably be compared with the work of Laura Mvula as Via Tania creates such an incredibly visual album which could be a beautiful bedtime story or fragments of a half forgotten dream.
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Via Tania makes slow burning smoky music that has nods towards Disney soundtracks and Joanna Newsom in equal measure. The chamber room orchestration sits on the right side of cloying and her sweet vocal stays on the right side of saccharine. These factors add up to a charming sound which, while it hints at the sort of thing you might see given a lower pecking order slot on Jools Holland, has something quite special about the combination of sounds.
She never over enunciates, never over sings and on the high water mark opener ‘I See You Tiger’ the gorgeous neo classical instrumentation combines with subtle vocals and lovely slabs of reverb to create a winning piece which sets the template for the rest of the album. One which combines beautiful Johann Johannson style classical compositions with navel gazing but subtly uplifting vocal performances. The record has all the elements intact to become the type of album enjoyed by both casual music listeners and the kind of serious vinyl freaks we cater to here at the towers. It is, at times completely gorgeous, ‘Wooden Guitar’ which closes side A is truly brilliant combining plucked acoustics, woodwind and sweeping strings to create atmospheric chamber folk to soothe the most cynical of ear.
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- Via Tania & The Tomorrow Music Orchestra by Via Tania
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