Music

Eartheater's Introspective Playfulness Displays a Rich Well of Inspiration on 'IRISIRI'

Publicity photo via Bandcamp

Moving on from the abstract manifestations of her previous two albums, Eartheater presents a more solid and robust form of composition, which results in her best record to date.

IRISIRI
Eartheater

PAN

8 June 2018

Alexandra Drewchin was introduced to the experimental music scene through her collaborations with the intriguing experimental, psychedelic outfit Guardian Alien. Having participated in records such as See the World Given to a One Love Entity and Spiritual Emergency, it became clear that it was just a matter of time for her to venture on her own. Soon enough Eartheater, Drewchin's project, came to be and focused on the experimental edge of electronic and forward thinking art pop.

Eartheater's debut album first presented Drewchin's take on electronic structures. RIP Chrysalis was a bold offering, revealing an adventurous attitude towards structure and song progression. That approach would only intensify with Metalypsis, which moved further into the abstract territory, implementing drone music aesthetics and bending further the principles of electronic music when it comes to rhythm and groove. IRISIRI however sees Drewchin take a slight step back with her investigations, allowing the underlying themes of her music to take a solid form and transcend their previously abstract state.

Eartheater's expansive scope of genre molding still prevails. Using a collage of sounds technique, Drewchin has produced an act that is hard to categorize. Electronic compositions meet noise injections, while her chameleonic vocal delivery enhances classical renditions. The classical influence is apparent in various parts of the record, starting from the harp playing in "Peripheral" and the main theme of "Inclined". Both are contradicted by the electronic background and the processed vocals, delivering striking moments of elegant composition. This dichotomy between electronica and classical music is something that defines the music of Eartheater, which at the same time takes inspiration from the past while looking to the future, coalescing the two in bringing forth this amalgam of styles and sounds.

The richness of samples and the industrial perspective, both are able to elevate the record to further heights. Offering a sonic tapestry of sounds in "Not Worried", Drewchin delivers an operatic performance, which enhances the ethereal element of this work. Her vocal delivery is able to act as the constant attribute against the always changing sonic landscapes of Eartheater. "Inking" for example sees the electronic compositions acquire elements of industrial music, which coupled with the vocals brings a sorrowful perspective forward. There appears to be this central theme of balancing between the mechanical, depicted by the electronic influence, and the humane, represented by Drewchin's vocals and the classical leanings. And it is these two sides that propel the work forward and make it so appealing.

It is also the ability of Drewchin to create this open environment when she can plug in further elements. A touch of black metal appears in "C.L.I.T.", taking on the strong ambiance and sickening vibe of the genre. The main melody carries on the aesthetics of the genre, while the vocals also make an entrance with a more raging and despairing tone. On the other hand, the presence of Moor Mother as a guest in the exquisite "MMXXX" sees the noise becoming the focal point of the track, making it easily one of the highlights of the record.

But apart from Drewchin compositional prowess and experimental tendencies, there are two main factors that make IRISIRI such an enticing record. Firstly, there is no unexplored territory in her music. Despite the short duration of the tracks, the dive that Eartheater perform is substantial and covers a lot of ground across various genres. But most importantly, there always appears to be a certain playfulness when it comes to the progression and use of samples. That is not something that suggests this is an easy listening record, but it makes the album more personal and adventurous, and it is its most striking part.

8

Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

A Certain Ratio Return with a Message of Hope on 'ACR Loco'

Inspired by 2019's career-spanning box set, legendary Manchester post-punkers A Certain Ratio return with their first new album in 12 years, ACR Loco.

Books

Oscar Hijuelos' 'Mambo Kings Play the Songs of Love' Dances On

Oscar Hijuelos' dizzyingly ambitious foot-tapping family epic, Mambo Kings Play the Songs of Love, opened the door for Latinx writers to tell their stories in all their richness.

Music

PM Picks Playlist 2: Bamboo Smoke, LIA ICES, SOUNDQ

PopMatters Picks Playlist features the electropop of Bamboo Smoke, LIA ICES' stunning dream folk, Polish producer SOUNDQ, the indie pop of Pylon Heights, a timely message from Exit Kid, and Natalie McCool's latest alt-pop banger.

Film

'Lost Girls and Love Hotels' and Finding Comfort in Sadness

William Olsson's Lost Girls and Love Hotels finds optimism in its message that life tears us apart and puts us back together again differently.

Music

Bright Eyes' 'Down in the Weeds' Is a Return to Form and a Statement of Hope

Bright Eyes may not technically be emo, but they are transcendently expressive, beatifically melancholic. Down in the Weeds is just the statement of grounding that we need as a respite from the churning chaos around us.

Film

Audrey Hepburn + Rome = Grace, Class, and Beauty

William Wyler's Roman Holiday crosses the postcard genre with a hardy trope: Old World royalty seeks escape from stuffy, ritual-bound, lives for a fling with the modern world, especially with Americans.

Music

Colombia's Simón Mejía Plugs Into the Natural World on 'Mirla'

Bomba Estéreo founder Simón Mejía electrifies nature for a different kind of jungle music on his debut solo album, Mirla.

Music

The Flaming Lips Reimagine Tom Petty's Life in Oklahoma on 'American Head'

The Flaming Lips' American Head is a trip, a journey to the past that one doesn't want to return to but never wants to forget.

Music

Tim Bowness of No-Man Discusses Thematic Ambition Amongst Social Division

With the release of his seventh solo album, Late Night Laments, Tim Bowness explores global tensions and considers how musicians can best foster mutual understanding in times of social unrest.

Music

Angel Olsen Creates a 'Whole New Mess'

No one would call Angel Olsen's Whole New Mess a pretty album. It's much too stark. But there's something riveting about the way Olsen coos to herself that's soft and comforting.

Film

What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .

Music

Masma Dream World Go Global and Trippy on "Sundown Forest" (premiere)

Dancer, healer, musician Devi Mambouka shares the trippy "Sundown Forest", which takes listeners deep into the subconscious and onto a healing path.

Music

Alright Alright's "Don't Worry" Is an Ode for Unity in Troubling Times (premiere)

Alright Alright's "Don't Worry" is a gentle, prayerful tune that depicts the heart of their upcoming album, Crucible.

Music

'What a Fantastic Death Abyss': David Bowie's 'Outside' at 25

David Bowie's Outside signaled the end of him as a slick pop star and his reintroduction as a ragged-edged arty agitator.

Music

Dream Folk's Wolf & Moon Awaken the Senses with "Eyes Closed" (premiere)

Berlin's Wolf & Moon are an indie folk duo with a dream pop streak. "Eyes Closed" highlights this aspect as the act create a deep sense of atmosphere and mood with the most minimal of tools.

Television

Ranking the Seasons of 'The Wire'

Years after its conclusion, The Wire continues to top best-of-TV lists. With each season's unique story arc, each viewer is likely to have favorites.

Film

Paul Reni's Silent Film 'The Man Who Laughs' Is Serious Cinema

There's so much tragedy present, so many skullduggeries afoot, and so many cruel and vindictive characters in attendance that a sad and heartbreaking ending seems to be an obvious given in Paul Reni's silent film, The Man Who Laughs.

Music

The Grahams Tell Their Daughter "Don't Give Your Heart Away" (premiere)

The Grahams' sweet-sounding "Don't Give Your Heart Away" is rooted in struggle, inspired by the couples' complicated journey leading up to their daughter's birth.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.