Elaine Lachica
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Elaine Lachica

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"Listening Party"

When New York-based classical soprano Elaine Lachica wears her singer/songwriter gown, she cuts a serpentine path between the dream-like shrouds of the Cocteau Twins and the jazzy, rhythmic delicacy of Stina Nordenstam. The Baltimore-born, Peabody-trained Lachica soars through the same sort of genre-less ether: On her third album, I Think I Can See the Ocean, Lachica steers her arresting, haunting voice into underground tunnels of nervous beauty and down-tempo meditations. Sometimes a martial beat and jagged guitar chime provide the coiled tapestry backing her soothingly conflicted vocals ("Keep forward the dream/ Slow down everything" from "Jinx the Line"); elsewhere gentle brushes on a snare suggest a smoky, blue bayou that Lachica turns to desolate overcast by gorgeously soothing, "Oceans will swallow you whole in this downpour/ far away a sea of sand, an open hand" in "Imperfect." And a twangy guitar rustle backs the gentle locomotive thrust of "April Train," over which Lachica sings about coming into clarity.

Snuggling something pretty cheek-by-jowl to something enigmatic is the alchemy Lachica works here, and while it's probably dream-pop at heart, it's a well-crafted, at times quite elegant version of it. The album's best moments, though, are when she lets her music and lyrics equally surrender their tenuous grasp on recognizable meaning. Her skywriting voice carries "Wild Wielding" through its violin and piano reverie, while in "Rapture," she rushes along with sheets of percussion and guitar. Best of all is "Tumbleweed," where a piano leaping sparrow-like between notes and violins skittish as kittens suggest a broken-mirror melody and Lachica breathily coos "Sometimes she crawls out of herself/ moving out of her way" as if it's the most sensible observation she's made all day.

By Bret McCabe, 9/2/09

http://www.citypaper.com/music/review.asp?rid=15205 - Baltimore City Paper


"Elaine Lachica to Make Danbury See the Ocean Arts and Music"

When listening to Elaine Lachica’s songs, one feels a sense of being given a direct line to her subconscious - and it’s a lovely place in which to float around for awhile. On her first label-backed studio album, I Think I Can See The Ocean, the songs introduce spare, dream-like fragments which gradually intertwine until, often, they grow into something splendorous and epic.

“Behind My Mind” introduces the record with a bright, unassuming little left-hand piano riff reminiscent of Sufjan Stevens’ deceptively simple style(fitting, since this album was recorded at the same Astoria, Queens studio where Stevens recorded his Illinois opus). Lachica’s affinity for dreamy, stream-of-consciousness lyrics is made clear right off the bat with lines like “lost/ woven/ clouds are cloaked/ same/ story/ impossible.” These lines are sung in a relatively low register, which makes it all the more thrilling when soaring three-part harmonies fill the spaces between verses.

“Tumbleweed” veers in a drastically different direction, jumping from the gate with crunching chords ascending in staggered leaps while hands clap the Latin rhythm. The complex time signature here affords Lachica a chance to show off her skillful voice control, which she has exhibited in performances with renowned groups such as the New York Collegium, the Waverly Consort, and the Rebel Baroque Orchestra.

Elsewhere, on tracks like “April Train,” Lachica settles into a more mellow groove, but even the more placid Ocean songs are driven by her compelling voice, which works with competent arrangements of brass lines and a string quartet to great effect.

Though Lachica has been playing music since the age of three, she first began writing songs at around 16. After writing with a partner for a time, she eventually went on to self-record and produce a solo album, which she says was “something I did for myself". If her songs exhibit a dream-like quality, it may have something to do with the fact that she writes most of her lyrics shortly after waking up in the morning. This allows for some of her more abstract thoughts to make it to the page without being “super-critical” of their content.

Crediting artists such as the Cocteau Twins, Radiohead, Joni Mitchell, Laura Veirs, Nick Drake, and Grizzly Bear as influences along with the likes of Bach and Debussy, Lachica demonstrates a wide and deep appreciation of music that shows through in her own work. She will be appearing in Danbury with a full band at Cousin Larry’s(1 Elm Street) on Saturday, September 26.

Friday, 25 September 2009 by Patrick Dalton
http://themercurial.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=44:elaine-lachica-to-make-danbury-see-the-ocean&catid=17:preview&Itemid=4 - The Mercurial


Discography

'I think I can see the ocean' (2010)
'Apolune' (2005)
'9' (2002)
Songs from each record have had airplay on various radio and internet radio stations. For full list visit:
http://www.elainelachica.com/airplay.php

Photos

Bio

'I Think I Can See The Ocean' is Elaine Lachica's first label release on Stunnng Models On Display. Produced and Recorded by Kieran Kelly (Angus and Julia Stone, Will Stratton) at the Buddy Project in New York (where Sufjan Stevens recorded Illinois). Contributing musicians on the album include drummer Mark Stepro (Ben Kweller), bassist Rob Calder (Ari Hest), guitarist Aaron Lee Tasjan, string quartet led by violinist Rob Moose (Sufjan Stevens, Antony and the Johnsons) and brass section led by trumpeter Jon Mizrachi (Essie Jain).

Some influences are the Cocteau Twins, Tori Amos, Nick Drake, Joni Mitchell, Radiohead, Kings of Convenience, Laura Veirs, Andrew Bird, Bach, Monteverdi, Debussy, Arvo Part, Rilke, D.H. Lawrence, and e.e. cummings. . The sensitivity and range of Elaine's songwriting is capable of deep vulnerability as well as assertive expression. She writes introspective songs with stream of consciousness lyrics about dreams and the subconscious mind.

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Elaine began studying piano, violin and singing at age 3. Elaine studied voice at the Peabody Conservatory of Music and the Royal College of Music in London. She has performed and toured as a soloist for the New York Collegium, the Waverly Consort and the Rebel Baroque Orchestra. Elaine composed and produced two CDs - '9' and 'Apolune'. She will be touring with a full band in 2010.