Ela Stiles - Ela Stiles

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Structurally, the album’s a lopsided thing, sharply divided into two halves. Side A is a series of blink-and-you’ll-miss-them love songs – Celtic-inflected ditties channeling the 1960s trad folk revival, interspersed with fleeting hymnals that puncture the record’s otherwise melancholy tone. Recorded by Jack Farley (Beaches, Full Ugly, Twerps) in his signature hands-off style, the album features little studio trickery. Stiles’ vocals stand unadorned, with very few overdubs, just the faint aural ambience of Farley’s recording space. The 10-minute composition ‘Drone Transitions’ makes up the record’s entire second half. Beginning with a tape-recorded vocal loop, the track was composed incrementally from layered vocals, pieced together this time by engineer John Duncan (ex-Silver Moon). The finished product swirls and undulates like a raga, one moment guttural and folksy, the next high-pitched and soaring.

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