Saturday, May 27, 2017

New Music 2017 - Part 21 - Paradisia - Sound of Freedom

I often go on about how important I believe it is to see support bands at gigs, and at festivals as many as possible of the bands on small stages and in opening slots on larger ones. As the festival season is now tangibly close and the list of new releases grows ever longer, here as an excellent example of how this pans out.

Last August I was at Green Man festival in mid-Wales. The smallest of the dedicated music stages is the 'Rising stage' and it hosts new acts. These are for the most part chosen from the entries in a competition over the previous months, the winner of which gets to open the 'Mountain stage', the main one, on Saturday. Several acts there caught my attention and London-based three-piece Paradisia was one of them. Its core is the trio of Kristy Buglass (vocals, keyboard), Sophie-Rose Harper (vocals) and Anna Pesquidous (harp).

Paradisia, Rising stage, Green Man Festival. 21 August 2016.

This was the very first time that I was even aware that the band existed. First impressions matter and what I remember thinking was just how good their own songs were, even against the fact that they also covered Springsteen's 'Dancing in the Dark', unlikely although that might seem given their palette of instruments, impressively. That inevitably brings us to this; my next thought at the time.
"What would this sound like on record?" Yesterday I got to find out.

Paradisia - Sound of Freedom (self-released, 26 May 2017 LP, CD, digital)

It was clear from listening to the short live set that they had listened to a great deal of 1970's music and been honing the influences appropriate to what they wished to achieve. This album is just wonderful.  If I had to shorten it by one song then the one to go would be 'Dancing In The Dark'. I have listened start-to-finish several times now and current highlights, although I am really rather reluctant to pick any, are 'Warpaint' and 'Silent Lover'. The title of the LP comes from a lyric in the latter song.
I'm as certain as it is possible to be that is an album that I shall be coming back to time and time again and experience suggests that this isn't something that happens all that often.

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