IO Echo’s Ioanna Gika drops her debut solo LP via Sargent House (Dylan Carson, Chelsea Wolfe). Thalassa is a record of forceful and stirring art-pop that nods to Perfume Genius, Oneohtrix Point Never and Robyn. Gika’s voice, at once both piercing and breathy, dovetails excellently with Thalassa’s broiling synth-pop instrumentals.
Vinyl LP £19.49 SH203LP
LP on Sargent House.
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- Includes download code
CD £11.49 SH202CD
CD on Sargent House.
- Shipping cost: £1.05 ?
'Thalassa' by Ioanna Gika is a moody excursion into electro-pop, art-pop, and electronica. For all those pop elements, Gika is clearly unafraid of indulging her more avant-garde and experimental bent. One such moment is in opener 'Roseate' where the heavily treated drums are completely cut out to be replaced with an acoustic kit playing something resembling a swing beat. I love the fractured confusion changes like this can wreak, and think this album would benefit from more of them. In parts, Gika reminds me a little of Charlotte Gainsbourg with more synthesizers especially in some of the vocal cadences, but make no mistake, she has created something that's very much her own on this record.
This album is really well-produced (by Gika, no less), with plenty of dense percussion and big, thick synthesizers. Without this production, I think the songs would struggle to have the same impact, but as it is, they don't. It's also nice to hear some harps in modern music. There's a nice range of styles on this record, such as the Shangaan Electro-style beat on 'Messenger', the sparse ambience of 'No Matter What', or the camp, 80s style synth intro of 'New Geometry' that reminds me of Moskau by Dschinghis Khan (look it up, you won't be disappointed).
I think this album is good, but I think there are still elements that leave me a bit cold (and not in a good way). It's still a bit 'electro' for my tastes, and I'd love to hear more of the avant-garde sides to Gika explored more but for a debut LP this is a fine effort.
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