Liana's music is familiar yet strange and new, like meeting an old friend again, after a space of years that sweetens your past and present connection. Drawing from a range of influences from jazz pop, big band folk, and indie rock, the ten songs off Rest and Heal showcase Liana's dynamic voice and diverse songwriting skills. She burns with a multi-colored fire on "Emerald Green"—a song that progresses like a mini-opera through bursts of minimalism, a bossa-nova bridge, and lyrical frolics in the Alaskan Bush, before settling into a final guitar-wailing waltz. On the dance-hall ballad "Big Sur" and the Brazilian-infused "Fundamental Sweater", her singing voice wets the ears with a gently stacked two-part harmony. Her love of Jazz pops up everywhere, especially on the lucidly dreamy "Ti Voglio Bene"; shuffling along at an andante pace, it features novel chord progressions, a melody of honey and glass, and a heart-aching orchestration of flutes, strings, and glockenspiel. The boy-girl duets on "Foolish" and "Another Place, Another Time" add a nice bit of variety to the vocally rich collection, where every chorus is cinematic, the lyrics hopelessly hopeful, and the music endlessly upbeat, adventurous, and fun. The subtle complexity of the arrangements is perfectly attuned with the breathtaking simplicity of these straightforward singsongs. Each moment is handcrafted to provide a new sense of wonderment at the sound of music, be it mellow in a groove or belting out on top of the beat—sure to get parts of your body moving, if not your entire form rippling with delight.
The title track "Rest and Heal" sums up everything that is the Liana Gabel experience; she asks you to rest your busy brain, open your ears, and let her voice do the healing.
Listen to Liana Gabel on Bandcamp: http://lianaband.bandcamp.com/