Boomkat Product Review:
Marina Herlop returns to PAN with another ornate collection of hopeful art-pop, this time inspired by a period of emotional regrowth. RIYL Björk, Julia Holter, Lucrecia Dalt, Jenny Hval.
Stronger and more intentionally mannered than its predecessor 'Pripyat', 'Nekkuja' is a leap forward for Herlop, who wrote the album as she pondered her creative future in her Spanish apartment. She wanted to grasp pop more wholeheartedly, and ignore the pull of darkness that seemed to have a hold on her experimentally-minded peers. She's found a more nourishing balance between her itchy, off-kilter electronics and her powerful voice, using dusty mellotron sounds, environmental recordings and fluttering strings alongside electronic percussion.
'Karada' highlights her vocal range, twisting syllables around delicate plucks and birdsong before woody synth stabs switch up the mood, and 'La Alhambra' pushes up the tempo, skipping around an almost militaristic beat without losing the baroque pop flow for a moment. Herlop's skill here is in making her compositional complexity sound effortless; her songs are labyrinthine when you start to pull them apart, but they flow like a wild stream, never dammed by their own motion. Like Julia Holter or Jenny Hval, Herlop is able to bend time by skipping between ideas and concepts, jumping from folksy instrumentation to brushed aluminum electronics without awkwardness. Her songs hold everything together, and her limber voice is given all the space it needs to shine brightly throughout.