words by tom johnson
Taken as a series of separate entities, Sun Riah’s new song might well be overwhelming. In some regard there’s a lot to deal with; the magical instrumentation, concocted from a lone harp and tiny swells of ambience; that evocative voice, from which you can almost sense the shifting and varying expressions that come from the face that departs it in to the world; the quietly harrowing melody that treads gently along it all. And yet, such is the seasoned skill with which its all bound together, that you don’t actually notice any of these things as different strands on the same thing, instead they simmer as one, the track sitting as one stunning piece of work; greater than the sum of its parts, which in itself says so much.
Taken from the Oklahoma-based artists forthcoming new album (her third in four years), “The Middle Room” is indicative of M. Bailey Stephenson’s tender work, something which has seen her likened to Julianna Barwick, Joanna Newsom (of course) and more, but perhaps the new track’s most impressive trait is that it feels beautifully, crushingly, of Stephenson’s own vision, the emotive lyrics, the way they tell a story that instantly grabs, both impressive and instantly captivating.
The full record is out in a couple of weeks via Keeled Scales; listen to the new track below right now.
Sitting With Sounds and Listening for Ghosts is released July 21st, via Keeled Scales