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reLISTEN #13: Ethereal

In today’s reLISTEN #13, we delve into the haunting yet beautiful universe of ethereal voices, fantastic sonic landscapes, and evocative melodies.

The landscape is dipped into a forest green and purple twilight—an astounding sight, somewhere between surreal and fantastic. Is it a dream or some kind of alternative reality?

Music's capability to teleport your mind to far-away places—even such completely made-up—is a continuous wonder. While some songs are sonically profoundly rooted in our world, others conjure up whole universes that spring from the endless creativity of human imagination.

In today's edition of reLISTEN, I collect five of these fantastical songs that could very well be the soundtrack to a fairy tale—although not necessarily happy ones.

They're coined by evocative melodies, similarly alien and familiar, uncanny soundscapes, and ethereal voices. Songs that could haunt your nightmares or spark images of imaginative worlds. Sounds that are flowing and cradling but only occasionally rise to epic proportions.

Hilary Woods – Black Rainbow

The song's title already gives it away: it's a sinister atmosphere, created by Dublin-born artist Hilary Woods, that awaits the listeners. Black Rainbow drags and writhes itself in darkness, spreads a velvety blanket across the mind like the night.

Woods' voice, half preaching, half whispering, seems almost detached from the composition. The instruments blend into a vast and pulling field, with only the short piano notes providing an oscillating relief.

Black Rainbow, by Hilary Woods
from the album Colt

Midas Fall – Evaporate

It starts melancholic, with the swelling strings slowly mutating into a constant melody. But then, a sharp e-guitar sneaks in, and as soon as the buzzing synthesisers appear, Midas Fall's Evaporate gains a haunting quality.

The Scottish duo unites Elizabeth Heaton's pleading voice and Rowan Burn's post-rock guitars with captivating, electronically driven soundscapes into a Janus-faced song with a goth-like quality that simultaneously feels almost violent.

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