Sara Ayres has been around for quite some time. Her discography has her first appearances on an audio medium in the early 1980's. Other reviewers have compared her to Brian Eno, Tori Amos, Enya and Tangerine Dream. Unfortunately, I don't really care for this style of music - "dark ambient" - so many of the songs on here were nothing that really caught my attention. The ones that did:
The song Night Hounds had swirling vocals mixed in with dogs barking and howling. Sounds like an odd combo, but it works. Blood Music has Celtic/folk influences...very simple and clear. This is a song that makes it clearer why one reviewer likened her to Tori Amos without the cornflakes. And, the wonderfully titled Klangmoan was as she described it: a fever dream from a very far-away land. The sounds were intense and mysterious. She has many influences besides Celtic and folk. Some songs sounded Middle Eastern, Oriental, or, other-worldly.
Her voice is beautiful and this is not the work of a hack...it's the work of someone with a great voice and an interesting vision. The focal point is her voice and she uses it as an instrument. She admits to sometimes using backward vocals sung in foreign languages and tweaked beyond recognition. She states that she is becoming less linear as time goes on, so it will be interesting (for her fans) to see where she takes things.
So...those of you reading this who like the bands/musicians that she has been compared to: go out and buy this CD immediately. It will entrance you and hypnotise you with all the swirls and layers and pictures you will have in your head during the songs. But, if you are like me: someone who prefers more linear and somewhat more intense (ie rock, industrial, opera, big band) music, it will not be for you other than as background noise to help you sleep.
Post: Dark Wood Recordings, PO Box 1786, Albany, NY, 12201