Experimental / Dark Ambient
RIYL: Theremin / Stranger Things

In an age of technology, the warmth of real instruments is only surpassed by the warmth of an unmolested vocal. Hailing from Chile, the duo of Lumina Nikander and Ruam Ela provide both to create the sonically moving EP At Illusory Sun from their band moniker tärde.

Comprised of only four tracks, the experimentation contained has a sparse, ethereal sound that carries the listener on a sonic journey deep into the depths of their psyche. The compositions are other-worldly and carry extraterrestrial feeling, whether intentional or not.

What captures the listener’s attention the most though is the combination of Ela’s music paired with Nikander’s beautiful vocal. There is an interesting, baroque style influence here, and Nikander’s range, though not tested fully, proves to be warm and comforting, like a soft, musical duvet. We hear this most from the track “To The Last Fallen Leaf,” which also contains a William Shakespeare / Macbeth quote. Further, the use of various keys in the track also contribute to the overarching mood of dark, ambient feelings throughout the EP. In fact, it is likely this track that galvanizes the entire mood of the extended play.

That mood also permeates through the EP closer “Initial Phase Of The Raven Flight,” which carries an ominous opening full of rich organ tones, guaranteed to haunt the deepest corners of your mind. Paired with the drawn out vocal croons from Nikander, the track makes the listener feel aimless and haunted. What also catches the ear, is the underlying trumpet sound that draws the listener through the track. The song is truly a masterpiece. The composition is dark, but the movement contained is absolutely beautiful.

Ultimately, if you are looking to discover something a little left of center, tärde would be for you. There is an immense amount of masterful instrumentation through the EP, and the composition changes flow well together. Further, this is the strongest album / EP closer I’ve heard in a long time. Brilliant.

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