I don’t know what my tastes are with jazz music these days. I mean, I think I enjoy it but I don’t listen to it as much as I should? Sometimes I find myself filling out some surveys that have asked me my tastes in music and when I see jazz, I hesitate, trying to figure out what jazz sounds like.
Eons ago, I went into a local CD store and while skimming through their shoddy selection, I saw a CD by a California act called SkinnerBox — not to be confused with the “Ska/Punk” band — where by the first listen, they took me to the largely abandoned Victorian era with their attic-confined piano and violins, ghostly in that creaky Coraline kind of way.
I guess that could be jazz? It was genuinely creepy, like cracking open Little Nemo in Slumberland or really, more like as if I were Nemo going on that dream ride.
Well, I haven’t listened to anything like that since, until I listened to Kiravell’s Vaudevellia.
I’m reminded of that scene in Red Dragon when Lecter tries to kill the detective in his study and delivers some memorable lines.
Don’t resist, so gentle like slipping into a warm bath.
And while listening to Vaudevellia! isn’t like getting stabbed by Hannibal Lecter, I could only imagine submitting to his warm bath suggestion when the songs begin to pour down into my ear holes.
This is essentially, jazz in every which way you can think of, but with a more creative alt-pop sensibility.
For one, I think Kiravell has appropriately tangled herself up in a glorious loop of great ideas. Because she ultimately starts with nothing and molds that, into these coherent motions, as if she we doing Tai Chi or anything related to slow, graceful and meditative moves.
What’s especially great about her kind of jazz this is that her style of music are entirely made from her ideas, from scratch, meaning that if she’s inspired by anything, the sources are from rare undiscovered places she only knows about, or she’s oddly inspired and motivated by her own energy.
For instance, I think it’s bold and wonderful that she has a instrumental release of her album. For music enthusiasts, especially for jazz music, the ear picks different melodies to add to.
You can check out the full vocal version of her album here,
The album opens with Pache Mama, where she glides over the, in-between spaces of rhythm with her piano playing. I mean, right from the moment she starts putting me under the spells of her spoken word, I’m not expecting her to build anymore because why bother? If she did, it might just blow my mind.
Is it just me or does anyone else like the smell of mildew in a house?
Nevermind because Charge is the next track, where she gets me again with her piano playing. He voice is perfect for her melodies, and when she sings the chorus, “midnight air”, she locks me in again.
Somewhere online, her music is tagged under the category of Chakra jazz, and I’m down with that if this is what that sounds like. She might actually be the only one doing it.
Her track Aladin reminds me of The Cranes, a band I haven’t heard in a long time but now that she’s pulled that trigger, I love this album even more.
1st Light is a great track. I love when she plays the piano in-between the beat. It’s sultry when she finds her own groove. Somehow, it reminds me of Tori Amos’ From The Choirgirl Hotel, or the mesh covered patio of some old farmhouse? I love the changes she makes, accenting her reach to other bars or holding back.
It’s all about the subtleties with this one. About the only part that’s recognizable as familiar jazz music is when she goes into a more rapid section of the song; what is that… like, tango?
But she doesn’t come back to my favorite first half of the song, which is slightly disappointing, only because I love it so.
After this, is the track Mire, which is spacious and vocal bliss. It’s at this point in the album I find her voice is haunting, especially when she imposes layers in her vocals.
Of the few songs on this album that are cohesive pieces of recognizable pop, Yellow Hazy is one of them. Following that, is Delta, and I simply can’t say enough about that song… so I won’t. Well, other than the fact that it’s much like the other tracks where I’m now confused as to how much I love this album.
Kiravell is scaring me now.
She’s got everything I love in this and I don’t know, now I’m all like confused and a little dizzy? Oh, man. I better sit down for a bit because now the violins in Veiled Lady have a hold of me. Those are violins, right? Or are they Sirens?
Again, the jazz music of Kiravell is mesmerizing. With confidence, I can say it’s unlike most anything out there and at some point, you’re going to get a few keys stuck in your head.
She’s one of a kind and I really, genuinely, can’t wait to hear more.