All Around Us
Not yet reviewed.
Born and raised in Seattle, Briana Marela has traveled some but has always called the state of Washington home. There is a sense of place in her music - a sense of nature, of the northwest and of the unique space that exists between cities and wilderness. More than that, however, Briana draws inspiration from the people around her. Not just the emotions they evoke, but also the tactile feelings those emotions bring us: the warmth of affection; the weightlessness of joy; the grounded, anchored feeling of love. That gift for illuminating the abstract is counterbalanced by a remarkable clarity in Briana's lyrics, and that straightforwardness manifests itself in powerful ways.
Briana's lyrics are forceful, and throughout her second album, 'All Around Us,' traditional song structure gives way to plainspoken declarations that pull back the record's shroud.
'All Around Us,' named after a children's picture book, traces Briana's transition between places, beginning just before she embarked on her first-ever tour in 2012. While on that tour with her sister Briana performed at an art gallery in Providence, Rhode Island and it was there that she crossed paths with the artist Scott Alario. He ended up sharing Briana's music with his best friend Alex Somers, the Sigur Rós & Jónsi-affiliated musician and producer, who would go on to produce All Around Us. Later that year - on the day, incidentally, that the Mayan calendar predicted the end of the world - Briana got an email from Alex that would eventually bring them to work together in Iceland.
The magic of this collaboration is evident on the album track "Surrender", which is musically delicate at first, with flickering blips and chords that float into earshot like fireflies. As drums and vocals build the drama escalates and steepens until we are struck with one bold, mantra-like affirmation: "I'll give you all I've got." "Take Care of Me" is the album's brightest and most immediate song, a buoyant celebration of friendship with a skittering beat and a warm, sweet melody. And title track "All Around Us" is a stark but inspiring beauty, built on the memory of a family member of Briana's who passed away, and the sadness of not being able to say "goodbye" or "I love you" one last time. It is here that Briana declares, clearly and succinctly: "If you love me, say it now. And mean it. For you may never get another chance."
It is the balance of the abstract and the intimate that makes Briana Marela and All Around Us so special. There's a place for us all in these songs. We can nestle and tuck ourselves in between their loops and slopes and blankets of sound. We can think about ourselves and one another.
|Primary Format - Music||CD|
|Music Genre Primary||Alternative|
- 1. Follow It
- 2. Take Care Of Me
- 3. Friend Tonight
- 4. Dani
- 5. Surrender
- 6. I Don't Belong To You
- 7. Everything Is New
- 8. All Around Us
- 9. Further
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