I was very excited when Anne Marie's new album Illusion States
was given to me for review by the Pop Art Avenue team.
The album is my first adventure into her music as it was released on the 4th of December and ushers in a perfect introduction. The album is a mystical, dark, and contemplative experience.
The sketch on the cover art most definitely resonates with the balance of imaginatively mysterious and minimalist sound of the music, An album very self-reflective, imaginative and dark, overall, a very stirring and beautiful experience. The black pencil sketch of a dreamy figure on gray paper is charming, striking, and just as beautifully surreal
as the murky soundscape of each song and arrangement.
Anne Marie has a serene and drifting vocal style that is mesmerizing, and it perfectly complements the shimmery guitars that are wet with chorus and go great with the echoing percussion. The songs are stirring to listen to in their Dreampop, Darkwave, and Ethereal sounds. The mixing and technical approach is very solid with a warm and colorful sound, though muted colorization that gives it an original and dream-like sound. As for my own personal preference for the mix, I will say, the only thing I would want more for my taste is to have the vocals more upfront over the music. With the mastering EQ I wanted a little more 2k-4k to hear more of the transients from the deep echoes, ambient reverb and vocals.
Identify I'd prefer more of a pop mixing approach for it, but only just a little more.
While listening to it I am reminded a lot of Chelsea Wolfe, Tori Amos, and My Brightest Diamond with a Goth and Darkwave approach and styling.
Every song is very well executed, though I found myself more engaged and drawn in toward the last half of the album. I'm very attached to "Into the light" and its slow drift that tells a story though the dynamics of the song. The song starts with a haunting feel that is much like moving through the dark, and then opening up with lush pads and soaring dreamy vocals. It sounds exactly like being shadowed in mystery, but also having moments of clarity and harmony through the experience. I'm reminded how the dark can occult understanding, but if you seek to know and ask questions eventually you will find revelations.
Illusion State is an amazing, wondrous, and ethereal album. I do highly recommend everyone watch Anne Marie's music videos and listen to the remixes also. I'm very happy to have this album in my collection and I'm looking forward to physical media releases too. It seems like a good record to put on when you want to focus on self-reflection.
SwissDarkNights also features T-shirts of the cover art on their Bandcamp, and I hope to order soon. I wanted very much to delve deeper into the lyrics of this release, and I hope Anne Marie and SwissDarkNights will eventually feature the lyrics along with each track on the Bandcamp and very much do hope they are printed in the liner notes of the physical releases. It would be very nice to explore the words along with listening; That's just me though.
This album is absolutely marvelous, and I look forward to listening some more in the future and to also see what this artist will be doing next.
Be sure to listen below and also check out Anne Marie and SwissDarkNights on social media.