Review: Aythis “Secrets From Below”

Review: Aythis “Secrets From Below”

- in Reviews

In the beginning of April, Belgian-born (but residing in Netherlands) French musician Carline van Roos, known as Aythis, has released her fifth studio album “Songs From Below” via Orcynia Records (where she also works as engineer). And again she made this album possible all alone – from performing and composing the material to producing and mixing it.

Five year gap was a painful period for her loyal fan base, and not only hers alone, because one of her other projects Lethian Dreams last year also released the long-awaited studio album (alas, her other band Remembrance is still stagnantly silent). Yes, her solo project is audibly different from other bands, though with the last opus she made it heavier and more modern. And she is still loyal to her dark ambient and ethereal wave common concepts, but now they are tinged with more post-rock/shoegaze nuances and alt. rock spirit (especially on “When Your Ghost Wanders”). And some allusions to gothic-doom metal sound of Lethian Dreams (“Just Like A Tear”) also showed up on “Songs From Below”. And everything is covered under the snowy blanket of melancholic sadness, but tinted in iridescent optimism. So this time gothic dreariness and desperate loneliness occupy a background mode.

All this leisurely record flows in slow/mid-tempo with some accelerated or intense passages, breaking out from minimalistic river of dark ambient. Nostalgic atmosphere is absolutely pervasive, longing for something lost long ago, and illusive dreams fill the music with sentimental feelings. The positive vibes are obtained due to shoegaze structures, but dream pop foundation emphasizes textural significance and increases the emotional immersion. And the airiness and tranquility gives an impression of relaxing nature. The ethereal and ambient tenderness with monotonous stationary mood is so sophistically pensive and fragile in a natural way, and without a hint of boredom. And of course, constant acoustic passages also soften this record, along with classical piano sounds.

The voice of Carline is full-fledged instrument on her fifth album; it resonates with the music and colors it emotionally and subconsciously. Her voice is angelic and purely peaceful, but even her melodic musings sometimes shift from laid-back minimalistic path. So, on “When Your Ghost Wanders” she shows some extra passion, but “Into The Blue” presents some pagan howling in the end. “Secrets” also owns some ethnic tunes, but “The Light That Turned Into Crystal” is focused more on neo-classical principles. The most romantic and saddest gothic track “Facing The Shadow” is so close to a concept of stylistic miracle known as “heavenly voices” and reminds more of her previous works. And everything ends with cover song “Falling”, the main theme from Twin Peaks, still dreamy and calm, but with more modern sound and much too positive for Aythis.

The music of Aythis is a real marvel, so mystic and dreamy in its ambient and indie pop traits, but with strong and passionate temper of post-rock, and with such lush atmospheric background and classical traditionalism, it shows the unique and multi-layered ideas of its creator. Like the visibly feeble and ceding incarnation of gentleness owns a strong personality and iron will, stained with the darkest and gloomiest trials, it still remains so airy and elegant (the cover art also emanates the same feelings). So, “Songs From Below” shows some interesting progression, as well as typical for Aythis musical ideas.

Release date: April 2, 2021

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