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A review of...
y by Sobrenadar
Paula Garcia is a musician/singer/producer from Resistencia in the north of Argentina (but now based in Buenos Aires) who's been active in her home country since 2006, going by the name Sobrenadar. She's actually recorded 3 low-key albums over the years but this is her very first release outside of her native Argentina and it combines her most recent 2 EPs: Dromer and Habita. The collection has been named y, which means "and". Unlike Garcia's previous DIY recordings, which were made with the help of Fruity Loops and a computer keyboard, these tracks were made in Paris at the Red Bull Music Academy.
The nine tracks which make up y flip between total dreamy ambience and floating, sci-fi eletronica. Fans of Gwenno (who coincidentally did a great mix of "Noordzee") and Charlotte Gainsbourg will be at home with Sobrenadar's icy, Julee Cruise-esque vocal performance and stark 1980s production style. For Sonic Cathedral who are releasing this album, it's a continuation of their foray into more ambient sounds. Certainly we've seen some far less abrasive albums coming from this fine label in the last year or so. They also seem to be on a roll when it comes to uncovering hidden global talent too, this coming hot on the heels of Sweden's Echo Ladies who released their debut on the label earlier this year.
In terms of highlights, you won't got far wrong with "Noordzee" which pulls off the tricky distinction of being both blissful and achingly sad (I can only presume the lyrics are heartbreaking, but i'll leave that to my own imagination). Then there's "Inhabil" which features some lovely Vini Reilly style atmospheric guitar lines on top of yet another sweeping synth-led soundscape and another winning vocal performance.
All those years as an (essentially) undiscovered artist means that Sobrenadar has arrived on these shores fully formed. y is a bold and accomplished international debut and one you'd be wise to seek it out at the earliest opportunity.