Monica Lionheart

Indian Summer

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Vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Monica Lionheart's 2012 debut solo album, Indian Summer, is an ambient and languid piece of baroque pop that makes room for some stylish Spanish-language cuts. Quite dissimilar to Lionheart's work with the more post-punk/new wave revival sound she explores as the lead singer of Zigmat, here Lionheart infuses these hypnotic and expansive songs with her soulful yet delicate voice, which she often layers and harmonizes with herself. Tracks such as the opening "Air and Sea" and "Rocks to Ankles" are midtempo trip-hop and chillwave-influenced cuts, while the folky "Let Go" and yearning "All That We Could Never Be" are darkly melodic anthems that evince the moody introspection of the late Elliott Smith. Elsewhere, Lionheart, who also performs with the Latin electronica outfit Pacha Massive, delves deep into a similar direction with the lightly R&B-inflected "Sombras" and the slow-burning and cinematic "Relámpago." Both sung in Spanish, these are sophisticated, elaborately produced classical and prog-influenced cuts that bring to mind a kind of chamber pop Sade aesthetic. Sprawling but precisely constructed with deft use of electronics and synths as well as Rhodes keyboards, guitars, and other more organic orchestral sounds, Indian Summer reveals itself to be less bedroom indie and more innovative, cross-cultural dream pop.

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