From the beginning of the album, vocalist and pianist Leora Nosko offers sophisticated glitter to her debut EP, Circus Riddles. Nosko’s voice is very soothing and compelling. It has a certain demeanor about it that lets you fade away into the world that the solo-artist has created in each of her songs.
The first song on the album “Black Dog” starts off with a simple piano beat and it is accentuated by Nosko’s appealing voice. It slowly burns into a feathery chorus that is catchy and metaphoric in regards to lyrics. Her style reminds me of trip hop bands like Portishead, The Cranberries and Suzanne Vega. There is an addition of classical strings to this song, which adds even more drama. The chorus is really anchored by not only the repetition of well-constructed vocals but mellow and unabrasive percussion. The next track is a little more slowed down with more attention paid to the vocals, which is what really makes up the song. “Leave me high against the sky… I always knew you’d break away pack your bags and run…” This song is clearly an ode to a love gone awry and there is beautiful poetry within the lyrics. Throughout the song is anchored by very pleasant and simple instruments that compliment the vibrant and truthful lyrics of the artist.
“Will I Pretend” is another sultry track with deep and moving lyrics; they are very dramatic and the song could easily be in a movie soundtrack or any musical performance. As the song moves on, the lyrics grow into a luscious tree of fragrant flowers that subtly flood the room; the vocals are very dramatic and at times sad, yet have a way of just flowing over the beats in the background. The next song really reminds me of some classic soulful trip hop from the nineties; “Good Girl” is a track where the vocalist has truly achieved great harmonization and variation in the voice. The chorus is also very catchy without trying too hard.
Each song on this humble EP is so true and real in the sense of soulful lounge music. This is great background music for inducing both creativity and relaxation. The production of this album is also very commendable as it is clean and every instrument and beat can be heard clearly.
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