Heaven's Dust

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On their debut, Ekova makes music that literally transcends language, as singer Diedre Dubois sings lyrics in English, French, and no known language -- sounds that simply feel right. It gives a strange, sometimes weightless texture to the album, as the listener keeps on edge, listening. But it's a feeling that's sustained through the music, which at times has a Celtic edge (as on "In My Prime," for example), but also seems to have roots in the Middle East, courtesy of Meddhi Haddab's oud work. As if that weren't confusing enough, the electronic touches that pepper some of the tracks continue the statelessness, and so Heaven's Dust becomes a world music album -- although you're hard pressed to say whether it's this world, or something that escaped from a parallel universe. For all the mystery, it's quite compelling, and there's an insistence to songs like "Venus and One" and "Todoism" that can't be denied, while possessing a beauty that occasionally appears unearthly. Something of a revelation as to the cross-cultural possibilities of music, in its own quiet way Heaven's Dust signals a revolution.

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