The Lithuanian artist INGAJA knows what it means to swim in that liminal space between dark and light. Across the nine tracks on Reverie we hear the constant push and pull between the two as she defines their porous boundaries. Engaging her voice, spectral guitar work, reverb-heavy percussion and a studied ambience that places the golden tonal shifts of synthesizers deep in the mix, the tracks on Reverie wrap themselves around a warm tonal center that INGAJA uses to great effect.
Opening with “Escapism” – the wordless track is centered somewhere between Grouper, Midwife and Tim Hecker. When the first single “Quietness in the Air” unfolds INGAJA’s commanding vocals takes up a space front and center in the composition. A full-throated delivery INGAJA’s delivery lies somewhere between Lau Nau and Fleet Foxes Robin Pecknold. Floating above an ambient loop, “Quietness in the Air” represents a deep dive into ambient-pop music.
INGAJA is not afraid to let her voice and composition float to the very top of the ceiling, breaking out of an understated delivery and into a more confrontational and direct approach. “Yesterday was Hard” is such an example, the track eventually blooms from a simple guitar line and some of INGAJA’s most haunting and soulful lyrics into a towering composition of self-assured victory over depression replete with heavy guitar lines and electronic production flourishes. Much of INGAJA’s vocal content is centered around these declarative statements of overcoming and engaging demons of doubt and insecurity instead of running from them.
Taken as a whole Reverie is a solid album built around spectral and ambient elements that push the singer and composer into those unexamined areas of the mind beyond dark and light.