Priscilla Ahn

This Is Where We Are

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Blending the gentle acoustic instrumentation from her previous releases with subtle electronics, L.A.'s Priscilla Ahn takes a bold step forward on her third album, This Is Where We Are. While pairing gentle-voiced folksingers with electro-pop soundscapes isn't necessarily a new idea, it works wonders for Ahn, whose first two albums focused more on breezy acoustic pop and torch ballads. The strange, lilting wonder of album opener "Diana," with its distorted drums and harp-like synths, is a more extreme example of her transformation, which largely settles into a warm, subtle ambience throughout the record on standout cuts like "In a Closet in the Middle of the Night" and "You and Me." Her acoustic guitar isn't absent, and at its core this is still the music of a singer/songwriter, but among the more traditionally minded song arrangements are lush, dreamy atmospherics and experimental pieces that show a developing artist with an exploratory spirit. The songs are well written and sit well in the new sonic atmosphere, but it's her beguiling, clear voice that still takes center stage. Artistically, This Is Where We Are hangs together quite well and was the right move for Ahn to make.

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