Sound Animal - By Voicelight - Stereo Stickman

Sound Animal By Voicelight


Audio exploration at both its most purely human and vastly experimental – composer and artist Rosemary Bensko (Sound Animal) takes on the creative realm with fearless originality, for By Voicelight.

Featuring a multitude of instruments and vocal sounds, drenched in effects yet easily decipherable in their natural, characterful settings, By Voicelight is unlike anything else you’ll likely experience this season. The idea is to take recognisable qualities, a variety of genres and influences, and toy with the very fabric of their make-up, for a completely leftfield realm of sound that becomes its own beast entirely.

Moments of sheer chaos strike intermittently with those that feel perfectly well-balanced for a warm and musically satisfying embrace. It’s a journey through a complex cave of contemplation, with multiple layers of organic and electronic musicianship. It’s vocally haunting yet intimate on occasion, with relevantly-placed pauses for quiet and calm when needed.

Halfway through the opener we see the stripped-back setting of horn, piano, rhythm and effect, a sense of distance created as this story of A Life approaches its thoughtful mid-section, before rising again softly towards a beautifully purposeful peak.

With Screamer, the sound makes sense now, lashings of reverb depict this great hall of meandering voices, which meet with a rhythmic bassline and string section, for an unsettling yet gripping cinematic venture. Then we get a touch of dissonance, shaky pitching and underlying optimism that’s passionate and inspiring, for the uniquely retro yet expressive See No See, Know No Know.

That retro or nostalgic flavour continues for the sci-fi soaked Don’t Believe A Word, a boldly atmospheric piece that’s quite stunning as it rains down and envelops you; a personal favourite for the detail, depth and overall impact.

Other stand-out moments include the intrigue of an underwater feel for Dolphin Duet, the subsequent rhythm and melodic stylings of Rise – one of many instances of piano guiding a familiar pattern in light of unfamiliar sound-play – and the following delicacy of a fingerstyle and folk-like Why Not Me Today. This last one employs warped effects and production that are impossible to ignore, with vocals spiraling towards the sound of a child crying, and echoes of uncertainty juxtaposing organic musical warmth at a fascinating level.

The project’s latter half continues with a similar balance between the now unmistakable Sound Animal voice and the outright unpredictable composing nature and meanings of each piece. Softness appears at just the right moment, for Say It Ain’t So, and distorted electronic rock energy pierces through afterwards for Riding into Otherland.

Village of The Infinite Sand is another undeniable favourite, pairing a strong groove with imaginative intricacies, for a wholly enchanting listen that takes full command of the space.

Duck, Otter and Me later promises gentle positivity, subtle humour, and distant, dreamy calm. Though actually, these closing moments in full present a decidedly memorable section of the album. Won’t You Come Away offers an arena-style degree of power, and Be My Spider Of Delight utilises a cleanly-mixed spoken-word thread, to draw focus to another side of the creative, and bring the album to a provocative, hypnotic and again cinematic finish.

In short, an aptly-titled, 16-track collection of unpredictable twists, turns and intentions, yet with a simultaneously defiant sense of identity that is the Sound Animal approach to music creation.

Grab the album By Voicelight via Bandcamp. Check out Sound Animal on Facebook, Instagram & their Website.

Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter

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