Review: Eartheater – Irisiri (PAN, Jun 8)

Irisiri opens with a delicate call-and-response, accelerating harp arpeggios trading off with gurgling electronics in a delicate game of musical tag. When Alexandra Drewchin’s soft yet subtly powerful voice emerges, the true potential of Irisiris sonic palette is realized. Drewchin commands a wide range of sounds throughout the record, both synthesized and acoustic, but none of the songs ever feel bombastic or overstuffed. Instead, the fragile glitches and sampled minutiae flit and flutter around each other, creating beautiful collages and harmonies that dissolve as soon as you notice them. The emotional and tonal vividity of these abstract compositions are pretty amazing, and I end up feeling uneasy and apprehensive without ever really knowing why. This gives Irisiri both immediacy and depth; strange choices such as the harrowing, bizarre speech clips used on “Inhale Baby” and the juxtaposition of freely strummed harp with a muffled techno beat on “Curtains” instantly throw the listener off and put them on edge, but their oddness motivates further exploration. For this reason, I’m hesitant to draw too many conclusions about Irisiri so soon after its release; but for now I can confidently say I love it.