The San Diego sextet Ilya seems destined to open for Radiohead and Sigur Ros on both bands’ next tours. Like those impressive unit-shifters with cred, Ilya’s intimate but expansive music plumbs humanity’s bluest emotions. All three groups conjure seductively lulling storms that can induce sobs in stadiums’ upper decks. Vocalist Blanca Rojas draws comparisons to Bjork, but Rojas can’t hit the Icelandic chanteuse’s ecstatic peaks or match her quirky tonal contours; Hope Sandoval and Lisa Germano are more apt analogues. Nonetheless, Rojas’ deadpan sensuality intrigues and moves. (Expect widespread, swooning adoration from sensitive music fans before the year is over.) Poise Is the Greater Architect‘s chilling keyboards and aching, neoclassical strings often recall Joy Division at its bleakest. Despite the occasional gnarly guitar howl, the album mostly peddles morose dream pop and glum ambience (glumbience?). Unlikely as it seems, fame beckons.

Categories: Music