Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Horizon: Kiseleff

June 18, 2011

A single element of Kiseleff‘s A Sound Seal puts the band on the Horizon: the vocals. The album is composed of ten heavily electronic dance tracks that fall somewhere between techno, trance and house. (I don’t claim to be up enough on the sound to discern the nuances.) The ten songs average four minutes each, and they move with a solid beat throughout. These are well-written tunes that would be a lot of fun at a rave/out on the dancefloor.

But the low vocals jar against the sound often. The brighter a track’s tone, the harder the vocals clash: the ’80s-aping “Tightrope” is simply uncomfortable. The dark, moody “The Word” renders my argument null, as the vocalist’s Joy Division-esque vocals fit in perfectly. The awkward vocal lines in the peppy “The City Sublime,” however, remind me why I had the argument.

With a little more work on matching vocals to the tone of the compositions, Kiseleff could be something very exciting. Right now it’s off-putting in too many places.

Stephen Carradini and Lisa Whealy write reviews of instrumental, folk, and singer/songwriter music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

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