Iamthemorning - 'Belighted'

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Iamthemorning - 'Belighted'

An interesting and diverse work.

Formed in 2010 in Russia by St Petersburg natives, pianist Gleb Kolyadin and vocalist Marjana Semkina, Iamthemorning are, shall we say, on the lighter side of Prog. Kolyadin is a classically trained musician who has blended ethereal whisps of piano, violin, harp and a string quartet together with guitars, bass and drums to create sonicscapes that remind you of Porcupine Tree, Mostly Autumn, Tori Amos and Kate Bush (mainly because of Semkina's vocal style).

Their music has lyrics that reference everything from modern day culture, great art works to Shakespeare and poetry. The songs themselves have, at times, a sadness and longing running through them, though when you listen you can also find tracks filled with the beauty and the joy of life. The musicianship is outstanding and with the help of the guest musicians, such as Porcupine Tree's Gavin Harrison on drums, the duo have come up with a very intriguing album. I must also mention the production values of Amos producer Marcel van Limbeek, who along with Semkina and Kolyadin, has shaped a musical piece that should appeal to the many of you who like to listen to the many differing forms of Prog and Rock that are out there.

The lonely sounding 'To Human Misery', the ethereal 'Romance', the meandering 'The Simple Story' are songs that ebb and flow around your senses as you listen to them and they lull and calm you as they play. '54' is a glorious mixture of Bush and Amos, with the replete weird time changes and odd sounding piano patterns that those two ladies have used to great effect in their own musical endeavours.

The standout track for me is the nine minute 'Crowded Corridors', again there is a Bush feel to the song but as the minutes tick by, you marvel more at the complex song structures that the two protagonists have used throughout the song, rather than who it sounds like. The whole piece feels like it's a living thing; flowing like a river as it's played, with Semkina and Kolyadin working together in perfect tandem.

An interesting and diverse work, 'Belighted' won't be for those of you who love albums full of powerful vocals and guitars but for those who like to try new things in their musical diets, this could go down really well.

Ian Johnson

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