Singer Laura Guarch has a hazy, often tender, soul-influenced voice, echoed in her enveloping, lush songwriting. You could call her music psychedelic pop, art-pop, neosoul or avant garde and you wouldn’t be off the mark, Her debut album Krëodylia is streaming at Spotify.
Guarch comes across as a defiant optimist: themes of empowerment for both self and society permeate her songs’ alternately spare and lavish arrangements. The opening number begins as a playful, quirky Sophia Rei-style vocalese pastiche and quickly expands into a spare, warmly triumphant waltz, Guarch switching between Catalan and English. “Reclaim yourself” is the message.
The second track is Body in Pain, a surprisingly bubbly, anthemic number. It’s an exploration of empathy: the injured parties here await what seems to be certain rescue. That resolute hope for the future carries over even as Guarch’s voice rises to shivery heights in Circulo Lunar, an aptly starry sonic ritual.
Posi-Truth is a vividly metaphorical narrative of societal upheaval that reaches an explosive peak. “Drain the lake so there’s no place to hide,” is the chorus. The atmosphere calms with Boira (Fog), Guarch’s voice atop spare, echoey piano awash in drifting electronics.
With its stately cadences, Fleeting Light is about catching those rays rather than letting them disappear. Naufrags (Shipwreck) begins delicate and wary, then rises and falls with spare, purposeful piano and a full band. This imagistic portrait of a world sent spiraling to the bottom in the 2020 plandemic is the most album’s most striking number.
Guarch’s plainspoken lyric about reconnecting with compassion resonates over a lattice of trippy, distantly Beatlesque licks in A Loving Sound. Guarch multitracks herself as a one-woman choir in Sediments, rippling piano contrasting with drifty atmospherics. The final cut is Spring With Me, a cheery entreatment to embrace the promise of a new season. Let’s hope we hear more from this thoughtful, inspiring new artist.