The Northwest Music Scene, the musical hub for all things in local music and music news based in Tacoma, Washington describes Celestial Navigation like this: “Imagine if Björk decided to be a classical musician and an astronaut and chronicle her journey through time.” I would take it a bit further and throw in Nico (the female ‘60s German singer who once sang with the Velvet Underground) and Yoko Ono to describe the enchanting and breathy vocals of singer Didem Somel.
Accompanied by Glen Anderson on double bass and Robby Albrecht on drums and vocals, Somel not only captures you with her unique voice but her equally unique style of playing the violin. Cosmic Journey is the second album from this Bellingham, Washington trio – it is as dramatic and stimulating as it is stunningly beautiful. The trio addresses the current political climate we are living on “Storm is Coming.” The beat starts off as if a full-fledged tango. Tight breaks inside verses are coupled with spooky sounds. Very thematic and my label for this one would be: classically progressive.
“Broken Design” features breathy vocals, soft and lush tones, classical music breaks and dramatic changes. The drums end the song with thunderous rumbles. Wind sounds begin on “Taurus Calling” and the piano is in a sort of free form style. Some parts felt like a 1-2-3 waltz beat. A lot of excellent violin work on this one, as well as fantastic rhythm and cadence on the vocals – quite extraordinary. Soft, low and mellow with the main melody sounding dark and foreboding is how I would describe “Annemin.” Somel’s voice has a very whispering quality on “Babamin” and the keys echoing the main melody. There’s also a keyboard and violin break in this tune, which was really good.
“My Gypsy” moves along with a slow tempo and a hypnotizing tango-esque like beat with a fabulous violin solo as well. The last three songs were my favorites: “Ankara” for its jazzy/funky drum beat and lullaby feel; “ Who Are We” for its politically and socially charged message, not to mention the sweet sounds of the double bass; and “Loop Wholes” for its heavy use of keyboards and drums putting on a really good show. In my opinion, the last number was perhaps the band’s most intense.
Overall, this band genuinely blew me away with their unique mix of sounds, arrangements and captivating approach to music. I look forward to hearing what’s next on their journey.
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