Los Angeles-based Alnilam is releasing an album in November titled Indigo Sky, featuring 10 dreamy indie rock, folk, and at times pop imbibed tracks. For the most part, this work could be filed under the adjective “ethereal,” mostly because of the quality of the lead vocals. The personnel: Serhat Arslan (guitars), Elena Pinto (lyrics, vocals), Jorge Balbi Castellano (drums), Ian Walker (bass), Sandro Morales Santoro (piano, strings), Kathleen Sloan (violin), Eric Boulanger (violin), Andrew Duckles (viola), Evgeny Tonkha (violincello), and Manuel Jimenez (percussion). Together they’ve layered vocals with instrumentation to create a series of earworms (reminiscent of Enya) that evokes vibrant imagery through its flying harmonies.
A few essential elements make up all the tracks on Indigo Sky: soft, often hesitant dreamy vocals, driving guitars, and a solid drum line. Most of the numbers also feature a unique twist. The guitar-driven melody of the title track, for example, has a bit of a 1970s hippie vibe to it. The melancholic ballad-like “A Song For the Wind” puts most of its emphasis on the vocals, which are at their most powerful at this point in the album. The folk rock imbibed “Virgil’s Request” puts strings at its front and centre while an acoustic guitar takes on that position in “Green Mansions,” which is also the song that seems to challenges the vocalist the most. These twists make for some interesting moments in an album made by a band with a very distinct sound. In the upbeat “Rise,” it feels like the vocals are hiding behind the guitar-led melody; in “New Year” the vocals and the instrumentation seem to be sitting side-by-side, while they seem to lead the instruments on “When It Comes To You.”
Alnilam has chosen a unique name for itself, quite appropriate given that their sound is also unique. All the numbers on Indigo Sky fit a narrow genre. Either listeners will love them all, or dislike them all. Whatever the case may be, it won’t take away from the fact that each song has been carefully and lovingly crafted. Tracks are available for streaming on SoundCloud. More information about the band is available on both their Facebook page and their official website.
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