Here's a subject matter that takes a hard turn off the road more traveled, migraines. This one actually hits close to home. This is a commonplace issue that affects family and friends of mine. It can be crippling. Even when not severe it can interfere with work and everyday life. Kira McSpice intends to produce four albums on the subject with her latest album Prodrome being the first. This album deals with the opening stages or as I like to call it, the coming storm. This is formally the prodromal phase. Symptoms associated with this phase are a serious lineup of bummer. Fatigue, depression, light sensitivity and beyond. I'll be honest, I was a little wary of what an album illustrating this particular subject could sound like. Much to my delight, McSpite took an ethereal folk approach that is haunting and elegant.
The first element that leapt out at me was the distinctive vocal work from McSpice. Her performance style is almost something out of another century; the stuff of lore. It is understated and really kicks up the ethereal element I mentioned. She utilizes her voice as an instrument which can be used to build harmony and fascinating little loops. She was wildly creative in terms of how to weaponize those lovely pipes. On vocals alone, McSpice gets big bang for her buck.
Musically, there is a fantastic tug of war between modern and organic elements. There's these intricate little interludes into high tech and then back into the melodic folk fields. A healthy lineup of diverse samples and instruments create a legitimate journey throughout the album. It somewhat seems to mirror McSpice's background. Her list of residences is long and represents very different lifestyles in the US. Same thing goes for the recording process for this album. The overall assembly of Prodrome was a serious journey. This is an album that was given a lot of time to breathe and passed through several hands for production.
This album makes an interesting statement on a few different fronts. As far as the ambition to tackle this subject matter, it's commendable and unheard of, at least for me. In terms of genre bending, which is popular these days, this one stands out. There are new age elements in here but it's never hokey, McSpice's taste level is on point. With all these timeless elements, this album remained undeniable fresh. Sure, this could be considered niche, but I do believe there is staying power at work here.
I am beyond fascinated what will come next based on the robust amount of content McSpice has produced so far. There's a lot to consider - the time frame, the genre. It has been promised that each of the four albums will stand on their own. I am willing to be patient in terms of time frame. I think this album is a wonderful first step and a showcase of what McSpice is capable of. This is a great album for anyone seeking tranquility or introspection. Even if you're not familiar with the trials of migraines, it's an appealing album all the same.
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