Standout début album of dream-like, avant garde pop and electronic variants that properly introduces Napoli-based Montreal artist Mélissa Gagné aka CECILIA after guesting on Rabit’s Les Fleurs Du Mal album last year and releasing an EP for Yves Tumor's Grooming label. Devastatingly restrained yet ravishing songs with haunting English, French and Italian vocals, huge recommendation if you're into Yves Tumor, Félicia Atkinson, Rabit, Teresa Winter, Portishead, Leila...
Cecilia wrote and produced Adoration, with accompaniment by mutual spirits such as her friend Jasmine Pisapia and the poet activist Griséldis Réal, who help to render a stark yet subtly gilded cross-section of her psyche, which places the listener as dark interpreter to a series of tumultuous inner dialogues - “One is summoned to whisper truth, beauty, tragedy to demon ears.”
Incubated for one and half years between Montreal, Toronto and New York, Adoration reads like intimately diaristic pages recalling an amorphous lucid dream. In that phantasmagoric headspace she meditates on loss and romanticism, using a shifting backdrop of highly visual stimuli to frame her thoughts and bring them to life with an uncannily immersive effect perhaps not felt so strongly since Félicia Atkinson’s Hand In Hand LP.
Electronic bass and percussion are shadowed with traces of synth and guitar improvisations, but the one consistent element is the female voice. Sometime detached, glossolalic, and at others uncannily familiar, plaintive, the voice’s presence is integral to the album's quietly absorbing atmosphere, and even if the listener can’t understand their direct meaning, they connote so much more through abstracted inference and ambiguity.
Following her early forays made with the Charity Whore EP for Yves Tumor’s Grooming label, and previous work as DJ/producer Babi Audi, along with her hybrid stage works, Cecilia ties all those strands into an illusive yet highly distinguished work set to resonate with listeners from myriad backgrounds and disciplines. It's no doubt one of 2018’s most haunting, beguiling LPs.