A kind of indifference
Carmen Villain’s new record Both Lines Will Be Blue is a singular, progressive and endearing piece of work. The half Norwegian and half Mexican musician interestingly was once a model featured on the covers of Vogue and Marie Claire. However, Villain is by no doubt a musician at heart. With a crisp sense of sonic direction and distant feel, her record proves to be an extremely mature listen for the soft and spirited.
The first track “Observable Future” opens with soft exotic percussion and a dreary bass line. Villain creates these beautifully paced melodies against outdoor ambiance for a truly eclectic feel. Airy flutes (played by Johanna Scheie Orellan) allow the track to speak for itself. All the while, the production remains collected in the space surrounding it. “Are You For Real” continues with a distant echoed voice singing amongst sharp drum programming and cave-like ambiances. It’s eerie and cool.
The record is remarkable in the way every song slowly allows you to become a part of its world. Villain’s choice in adding background noises makes every track feel alive and full. “Type” is a special one on the record. The track opens with birds and a church bell ringing. Experimental house drums play out against a flanged bass drowning itself out in every note with its wavering qualities. Villain brilliantly mixes in organic tonalities like a flute or bongo to change the song’s overall vibe. She impresses with her stylistic, magical musicality.
“I Trust You” is another stand out with synthesizer pads against rhythmic bird chirps and delayed drops of percussion. It feels like the song was made in a windy forest or lake, and Villain creates an undefined happy place through finding tempo and melody. “I Could Sit Here All Day” changes a bit with shimmering smoky sounds against a piano and soft percussion. The song is trippy and groovy with its bouncing tempo. Progressing down the record, “Sometimes I Love You Forever” turns into a more eerie track with a slow pace. “Impossible Colour” then opens with the crispest sounds of water dripping and hand drums. The gradual introduction allows for every musical note to be felt with precise taste. Slight hints of flute warp through the song and ear ringing pads play out. The track finishes with a structured drumline and melancholic flute playing.
Both Lines Will Be Blue is a breathtaking release from Carmen Villain. Restraint is one of the hardest skills to master in production, and Villain does so with caution, maturity and simplicity. The record shines in the way it retreats, and the aftertaste is as gentle and powerful as the album proves to be.