April 21, 2011 § Leave a comment
Room40 offshoot label Something Good are carving out a real niche for their special brand of sugar coated electronic pop music, and this sophomore album from Aussie songstress Stina is maybe their sweetest statement to date. ‘Summers in Mariana’ erupted from a desire to create a ‘summer’ album of sorts, but as Stina began writing, songs inevitably started to develop a life of their own. What we have instead is a collection of delightful instrumental pop; ranging from the charming electronica of opener ‘Dimmer’, through the bizarre, drone-laden ‘Vanilla’ all the way to the stark, Gonzales-esque solo piano of ‘Lune’ and album closer ‘Cantaba At Home’. Somewhere in there I’m reminded of Rephlex’s Leila in Stina’s willingness to take a twee melody and rewire it into something mercilessly confusing. Fragments of songs will have a disarming air of familiarity, but then we’re hit with a synthesized flourish or off-kilter rhythm just to remind us we’re listening to something far from the norm. ‘Summers in Mariana’ might not be the ode to the great glowing orb that Stina planned it to be, but I can’t think of anything more fitting to spin as the rainy days turn to clear ones. I mean you can’t listen to the Beach Boys every day, right? Recommended.