You know when someone’s so incredibly alluring and charismatic it’s as if they move around the world in slow-mo?
Well that’s similar to the impact of Dazzling’s chorus: “You’re da-aaazz-Ii-hiiing” – additional, languorous syllables are added, elongating the word almost beyond recognition. This lead single boasts a stark, expansive kind of beauty, much like its accompanying film clip and also the monochrome self-portraits Adalita created for this album’s artwork. Toward song’s close, a dulcet, nursery-rhymey piano hook enters the arrangement – unexpectedly – as if floating by on a coastal breeze.
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Opener Private Feeling establishes Inland’s sonic landscape: metallic, rhythmic riffs; subtle, throbbing bass; occasional swelling drum patterns that enhance the emotional turmoil of select lyrical phrases – all of which serve to complement Adalita’s captivating vocal performances. “I keep bringing you in/ And I keep shutting you out…” – we can feel the push-pull cycle of sexual tension here, but is it actually worth exploring or just another potentially toxic mindfuck?
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Equations glistens with tambourine jangles: “So I lie here and I do the equations/ I lie here bathed in frustration” – ooh, that does not sound like a good time. As she takes a leap of faith, Adalita’s vocals soar come the chorus: “And I WI-I-I-I-I-LL!” With its delightful surprise-banjo flourishes, Savage Heart (“Just take a number babe girl/ And sit yourself down…”) navigates a dangerous liaison.
Hypnotic and soul-searching, latest single Hit Me is a whirlpool of atmospheric guitar distortion that’s further enhanced by Laura Jean’s flawless BVs. To shoot this accompanying music video, Adalita and director Adam Harding ignored a Keep Out sign and scaled a fence to access an abandoned house (which in turn inspired Inland’s closer, Abandoned Houses).
Listened Hard’s pulsing waltz rhythms and driving, hypnotic riffs evoke recurring, obsessive thought patterns – like someone you already know is bad news still relentlessly hogging your brain space. Then, finally, some much-needed clarity: “I’m glad I’m not the girl for you.” Tropic, a short instrumental interlude, washes in with piano melodies that land like gentle rainfall. Textured and vibratory, Blue Smoke hovers and lingers much like the song title suggests.
Throughout her stunning third solo album – which explores “universal themes of obsessive love, the inner void and reclaiming of the self” – Adalita’s unconventional phrasing often demands that we lean in and work a bit harder than usual to decipher lyrics. But it’s totally worth the effort. And Adalita is a force.
Inland released on December 2 via Liberation. Check it out by heading here.