Release Date: January 25, 2011
While listening to Lia Ices for the first time, much time is spent trying to draw a worthy and fitting comparison. Several float around, such as Florence and the Machine, Bat for Lashes, Enya, and even parts of Rasputina and Sandy Denny. However, it is during the second listen that one will give up trying to compare Ices to anyone else, because she really is a sound all on her own- and that is refreshing. That is what draws the listener most of all.
Grown Unknown is a phenomenal debut album. It is full of dream-like fragility, which is countered with confident strength. Ices is not afraid to be different and avante-garde, both of which pay off in the end, because it is clear she knows who she is and where she is going artistically. Her vocals float through the notes, weaving a story all their own, leaving the sparse, yet full, instrumentation to be a perfect complement.
Each song delivers another chapter to the story that creates the album. There are no songs that are likely to be heard on the radio, but one could expect to hear them as a part of a soundtrack, as they lend an unobtrusive, yet emotionally-stirring, sound. ‘Love is Won’ is the kind of song one would listen to when its sunny and warm outside, but nothing seems to be going right. ‘Lilac’ and ‘Daphne’ give an almost Brit-folk vibe to an otherwise melancholy sound.
Lia Ices gives us a taste of what she is capable of on her debut album Grown Unknown. It is clear she does not want to blend in and she knows what she wants to produce musically, and stands behind it. Ices really does take us into the unknown- and it will easily grow into a comforting familiarity.
[This review is also published at Kevchino.com]