Gorgeous debut LP by Maria Spivak, a rawly expressive set of atmospheric, night-time synth-pop romancers channelling mystic vibes from Lena Platonos to HTRK and The Other People Place - very special stuff, indeed.
Spivak first came to our attention with her guest vocals on Jay Glass Dubs acclaimed album '’Soma’ and here arrives fully formed with a quietly penetrative sound, layering her haunted but coolly melodic vocals and synth pads around bare-bones, DIY production that makes a virtue of “mistakes” and grit in-the-mix. Lessons from ’80s post-punk to ambient-pop and trip hop inform Spivak’s music as much as her observations on Cypriot sociopolitics, culture, and nature. But the references are more suggestive than concrete, often imperceptibly woven into her songs with a fine sort of folk art filigree that feels timeless but directly effective within her field, recalling the low-key magick of everyone from Teresa Winter to HTRK, yet gauzily delivered from her own, enchanted perspective.
Spivak has worked towards this seemingly effortless style and conception of atmosphere for a decade, flowering from MA studies in Architecture in the UK, to develop her roots in Cyprus, where she draws on the energies of a small but active local scene, as well as the island’s agitated recent history, against a backdrop of myth-inspiring topography, that all help imbue her style of sound sculpture with a distinctive, quietly conflicted soul.
Her first bouquet of songs are intimate but prickly, ancient and futuristic creations, unfurling from primitive dream-pop in ‘Minus The motivational Speech’, to the nerve-tweaking chamber blooz of ‘Hardware Store Ballad’ with a deeply arresting, story-telling style that’s naturally brought to life in the music; from the ephemeral sensuality of ‘Sec’, sounding like Lena Platonos meets The Other People Place, to the haunted dancehall swoon of ‘Enough Throwbacks’, thru her title song’s seething/soothing synth candescence, and the lo-fi Cosey-meets-BoC beauty‘Σχεδόν Σίγουρα (with H4S).’
Properly good this.