Lia Ices has a lovely edge of ache in her voice, tensile emotional crumbliness at the rims of vocal cliffs. When she sings along to a piano it’s difficult not to think of Tori Amos, not only because of the piano and the ache, but also because she uses some of Amos’ old tropes: the “Woo-hoo” of “Happy Phantom” and that habit of making the piano seem to run up and down a ramp. She doesn’t sound like a wannabe, though, more someone who’s still working on a musical language of her own and admires Amos well enough to borrow from her. The fragility in her voice makes you feel that she might crack at any moment. She defies your expectations and holds on. Necima‘s appeal lies in its sweetly-stated strength.
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