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Album Review: Rïcïnn – Nereïd

French experimentalist Rïcïnn goes choral on creatively florid second album…

Rïcïnn is something that can’t be properly digested on first listen. The project of French composer and singer Laure Le Prunenec alongside members of Igorrr, Öxxö Xööx and, surprisingly, Cattle Decapitation (on this record), Nereïd is a mellow, largely voice-based album that’s challenging and demanding of proper listening to truly get into and understand it. 

Nereïd was conceived and written to reflect Laur’s experiences and inspirations while travelling the world on tour with Igorr. But this isn’t a simple travelogue or pretentious, off-the-peg, went-to-somewhere-foreign-once hokum about how it changed you. Indeed, the vocals here are in many languages, and the album takes a musical trip through a concept of finding yourself at the death of civilisation, mourning your own culture that has been lost to time. 

The shades of artists like Chelsea Wolfe and Igorrr are a decent comparison as a gateway, but soon the church-sounding, cinematic journey starts twisting a turning to a degree that the only real yardstick is the later work of Björk – to the point where, at times, the singing is a spot-on tribute. But just as the Icelandic phenom is so on her own that she can’t truly be copied, so too is Rïcïnn a thing ultimately of its own. The multi-part vocal layers are lush, but also mysterious, never quite what you’d call catchy, nor staying the same long enough to get caught. But that’s good – the constant shifting of these misty, strange songs make them quite unique, difficult to become bored with through repetition. It’s mellow, but epic, comfortable, but jittery. It’s also quite unlike any record you’ll hear in 2020

If this at first appears as easy listening, then it’s the most demanding easy listen you’ll find in a while. But there’s something truly satisfying as such gorgeous, vibey music being that bit more difficult to penetrate. But once you do, Rïcïnn are a truly beautiful poison. 

Verdict: 4/5

For Fans Of: Chelsea Wolfe, Björk, Jarboe

Nereïd is out now via Blood Music

Posted on October 25th 2020, 3:40p.m.
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