It all begins with the voice. That is at once speaking as a descriptor to how Briana Marela's appropriately titled album Speak From Your Heart begins and also a way more universal concept. As the self moves throughout many rooms and realities each individual at any given moment though life finds themselves tethered to their voice. Following this concept it is easy to understand the voice as
The album is full of compositions that sound and feel as if they sprung from Marela quite organically. Held together by some heavy atmospherics from an assortment of synths, organs, keyboards, & tuned glass to name a few. It's a dense but uplifting undercurrent that Marela's vocals rest upon floating until the end of the record. Along the way though the listener is shown some of her best landmarks such as the most immediate album highlight "Alternate Realities" where things really kick off and come closet to the golden light in the blackest of sharpie drawn skies as depicted on Speak From Your Heart's cover art.
Yet with anything as downright soft as this the full-length format can be a bit of a dragging affair. While not totally escaping this trap Marela and company usually manages to let her down a bit when it's most needed, having a drum kit kick in when things begin to get too cute, how she can really begin giving the piano a little extra power providing more to hang onto, or when the loops build just right provided a gritty percussive groove. While not always keep on the right path) Marela and company do a good job of avoiding many of the pitfalls which could accompany them.
Briana Marela's Speak From Your Heart is available now via Olympia, WA's Bicycle Records.