Boomkat Product Review:
Laila Sakini fleshes out her Princess Diana of Wales avatar on a quietly stunning album of slowburn, coygaze dream-pop for the ever-wonderful A Colourful Storm.
Following a trio of wonders released last year - her AOTY contending ‘Vivienne’ and it’s endlessly layered 'Into the Traffic, Under the Moonlight’ companion piece, as well as a brilliantly distinctive submission for our Documenting Sound series, on Princess Diana Of Wales Sakini finds a contemplative and opaque downstroke, her forlorn vocals convected via radiant webs of reverb in an ephemeral style of songcraft that drifts effortlessly, like the sound of someone coming to terms with themselves.
Making use of negative space as an evocative ingredient, she keeps everything in a sublime tension between reserved emotion and the lingering decay of FX, effectively allowing us into her space but at arms reach, obfuscated by pink hued smoke and down lit in a manner that keeps her features oblique but tangible. And like everything we’ve heard from Sakini before - her work here is multi-dimensional, its emotional complexity taking a while to resolve, its impact multiplied in waiting.
Lulled into existence with the snoring bass and sleepy cicadas of ’Sleet’, Laila's voice comes to occupy a dreamily illusive mid-ground, smudged into whispers and drizzly atmospheres on the breathy country nocturne of ’Still Beach’ and plumbing rich depths of her echo chamber in the all too fleeting ‘Closer’. Flip it over and the kneaded bass presence of ‘Exhaust’ guides us into a sort of flinty 2-step dream-sequence, before that dream logic steers a lonesome post punk bass and dubbed snare rolls of ‘Fragments of Blue’. On the closing ‘Choir Chant’, harpy squeals ride against a low slung bassline, one part Coil, one part Joy Division, notched with a longing detachment.
Difficult to absorb and benefiting from attentive, repeat listens, Princess Diana of Wales resonates with these strange twilight times above perhaps anything else we’ve listened to this year. "What is real and how does it feel?" the cryptic press release asks. We're gonna be unravelling that for months.