SINGLE REVIEW: GracieSouz – ‘Before, An Apparition’

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This is the second single to be released from GracieSouz’s upcoming EP ‘Better In Space’; the first being ‘Brian Cox’ (read our review).

This is a huge piece of electronica; electro-pop taken to its logical extent if you will. Washes of sound drift across the sonic landscape, drums stab out at you while GracieSouz sings in a slightly disturbing tone, a tone with an edge of anxiety – at least to my ears. And at intervals it explodes into an electro-dance sound – soaring vocals, huge synth string stabs, slightly off kilter keyboard runs, rhythms that pulse. But this is no dance track; I mean you could dance to but it would need to be interpretive dance!

As with ‘Brian Cox’ this is incredibly visual music, you just can’t help but see images in your head as it plays.

It sounds both vast and intimate, and both full of space and claustrophobic. There’s a feeling of that huge sound bearing down on you. For me this makes it hard to listen to; but it’s so damn compelling and mesmerising that I find myself listening again and again, discovering new sounds. This may just be me, I react strangely to certain tones, feels and rhythms in music sometimes.

The song explores themes of memory, transient moments and perseverance. And this may explain my reaction to the track because the music reflects those themes as well as the words. I have particular issues with bad memories that, at times, come into my head and just won’t go away. For me memories are not necessarily a good thing. But that explosion into the electro-dance is uplifting and joyous, there’s a respite.

But sometimes I find music that I find hard to listen to beautiful, and this is very much the case with this song. The sounds are so compelling, so multi-layered you just can’t help but be drawn in deeper and deeper. And then there’s that voice intimate and small, and then huge and soaring.

This goes way beyond electro-pop, although it might be that somewhere deep down in the depths of the song; it has become sound sculpture, a sonic poem that uses sound to describe feelings and thoughts. Beautiful, just beautiful.

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Frank is the website guy for Local Sound Focus. Takes a lot of photos and loves writing about new music.