Chikiss – ‘New Season’

Posted by on December 21, 2017

According to Not Not Fun, Galina Ozeran — aka Chikiss — began working on this tape of overcast, calmly flowing pieces after she lost her voice for a whole month. Reading about her experience brought me back to my middle school rock singer days, before I learned vocal technique. I’d scream to hear myself over my friends’ amps, and after especially taxing practices I’d be unable to speak above a muted rasp. Those periods of voicelessness, which usually lasted a day or two, were unnerving enough to make me stop taking my voice for granted, but it doesn’t compare to the length of Ozeran’s experience.

On New Season, Ozeran approaches her singing with sideways feints, exploring uncertainty and constraint with a dignified slow-burn. Her interrogation of her own utterances extends to the structure of the music itself, as fragments of song emerge and vanish casually like clouds — if you like the loose, borderline ambient feel of Lambchop’s most recent album, you’ll find a lot to enjoy here. Listen as Ozeran half-speaks under bird caws in “Dark Dream,” or as she tentatively tries out a bouncy “dum-da-da-dum” in “Desire,” or as she draws out long tones over herself and unfurls a stuttering slow-jam in “Heaven Is Within Us.” And when she briefly gestures toward her full vocal range in “Tri Dnya,” it’s striking to hear her emerge from the mist and affirm the power that comes with having a voice at all.

Digital and cassette copies of New Season are available through Not Not Fun.