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Aqua Alta
Dreamsphere
Star House Collective

I envision myself diving into still waters and swimming along the belly of a lake when “Coral Castle” and “Dream The Day After” come on. “Blue is the Rain” and “Epic Sweep” capture a classic day in Victoria: dreary and wet, yet comforting. All sides of the album bring forth elements of the aquatic, which resonate in the dreamy twang of the guitar and slow progression of electronic nuances. Jenn Grant’s vocals sound like ocean waves softly breaking on a chilly Canadian shoreline. They’re beautiful, and beautifully showcased in the second last track “Silvery Tones.” This being said, the album as a whole is what I would often define as vanilla. It’s a pleasant listen that could be the soundtrack for an emotionally evocative children’s movie (Marley & Me?), but it’s not my first choice in music. Grant’s solo work, such as her latest album Compostela, exemplifies her remarkable voice, which is comparable to the ranks of First Aid Kit and Daughter. Unfortunately, a particular edge is lost in trio Aqua Alta. The dynamic in Dreamsphere creates a trifecta of dullness rather than an agreeable harmony.

– Elyse Mathes

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