It's pretty amazing that Ilya licensed music to several independent films, was nominated for Best New Artist in the San Diego Music Awards, was voted San Diego's Best Indie Band, ended up on the Urban Outfitters in-store play list, had a song on MTV's Sorority Life, and released this stunning debut all without a record deal. The haunting group crosses Portishead with San Diego's chilling Black Heart Procession to make for a moody set of trip hop, jazz rhythms, atmospheric rock, and entwined piano melodies. On "Isola," Blanca Rojas gentle, gin-joint vocals are a dead ringer for Björk torch-singing in a dive. "Blatchford" adds a Fiona Apple-esque poetry rant, and "Disturbed" is driven by groaning Sigur Rós-sounding strings. The overall effect is very lulling, and Ilya has yet to develop Portishead's flair for crisp, film noir production and grandiose swells, but they're a unique band and Poise Is the Greater Architect is just the start of their self-made journey.
AllMusic Review by Charles Spano