Lorine Chia’s full-length album Sweet Noise Pt. 1 is a project that immediately grabs attention. This unusual fusion of passionate, soulful vocals, poetic imagery, and a decidedly retro, space-age or sci-fi-like soundscape – one featuring subtle flickers of electric guitar and angst – proves the perfect way to kick off a playlist with intrigue. Mostarage goes on to lean towards distorted hip hop, enveloping the listener in an artistic moment of engagement, ultimately introducing the album in a powerful and completely unexpected manner.
The sheer number of ideas and references on this release mean it’s something worth spending time with. Fortunately, in line with that, Chia’s sweet and raspy vocals make for the perfect vessel through which these ideas can emerge. Simultaneously, these trip-hop style, jazz-cafe soundscapes and subsequent moments of funk and RnB help really hold you close – with smooth grooves and generally likable vibes that make it a total pleasure to escape within. Heart Sounds is all of this, the first real ‘song’ on the project, and a bold and beautiful one at that.
Artistry has swept over much of modern music this year it seems, particularly hip hop – releases from the likes of Tyler, The Creator see elements of jazz and classic soul intertwined with those of rap and contemporary electronica. There’s an experimental aura to much of it, but there’s also an intention, and just enough of that pop familiarity to let it branch out and connect on a broader level. $ and Peace utilizes these qualities in a simple yet powerful, anthem-like fashion. These two words seemingly juxtapose one another, in terms of the world and its ongoing situation. But I suppose, on the other hand – money can bring some sort of peace; at least for the individual.
As the album goes on, it becomes clear that Lorine Chia drives with a consistent connection to and passion for the process. Uniquely expressive performances – varied vocals, quietness and volume – walk hand-in-hand with a series of refreshing soundscapes and brilliantly relevant yet creatively presented concepts.
There’s plenty to love, and to get lost within. Chia contrasts experimental moments with piano-led ballads that reach straight for the heart – You’re A Star, The Wrong The Right. Her voice alone has so much character that you can tell this will last if the songs and the performances keep coming. On top of that though, the songs on this album offer something pure, honest, and deeply considerate – a set of qualities that are so valuable, and well worth holding onto once you find them.
You Never Learn is a personal favourite, though Mood Home Alone before it really leaves an impact that leads well into this. The softness of Hollywood also contrasts well and keeps you drawn in. Everything this artist does seems beautifully poignant, impressive, and strangely important.
Sweet Noise Pt. 1 is an authentic experience, to be taken on in full – escaped into, embraced and given the room to embrace you. A single listen is far from enough, there are so many moments and intricacies, details. Well worth a download. Lorine Chia deserves her spot on the scene, now and in the years to come.