Briana Marela is an ambient pop/experimental singer/songwriter from Seattle. I don’t know anything about her and had never heard of her until I got an email promoting the new album, which came out last week via Jagjaguwar.
She self-released a cassette-only album called Water Ocean Lake in 2010, followed by the Speak From Your Heart album in 2012. She immediately got to work on the new album, writing the songs in 2012/2013. Through a series of circumstances, her new songs found their way into the hands of Sigur Rós producer Alex Somers, and they started working together in Iceland to get All Around Us made. At some point in the process, she joined the roster at Jagjaguwar. While this is her third album, it’s the first with label support and the first that will have a significant tour to back it. Her tour, by the way, is a run through North America as the opening act for ambient/electro songstress Jenny Hval. Jenny Hval will be playing at Hopscotch, which will be in full swing in just two weeks. However, Briana Marela will not be there. At least not on the “official” schedule. I haven’t studied the “day party” schedules yet, so I may get a chance to see her at one of those.
Today’s song makes me think of what might happen if Jessie Stein from The Luyas collaborated with The Postal Service.
This is that song
“Surrender” by Briana Marela
I love the multiple layers of vocal track and the vocal manipulation that makes it sound all glitchy. As I said, Marela’s cherubic voice instantly brings to mind Jessie Stein from The Luyas and the late Trish Keenan, who was the front of Broadcast. Oddly enough, on some other songs from the album, she reminds me of Amy Millan from Stars. The song “Everything Is New” sounds like could easily be a Stars song. Something from the In Our Bedroom After The War sessions.
The point is that although there are certainly some cool musical things going on, the star of this show is Marela’s voice.
Please enjoy the video