SLAM WEEK: Adalita – Adalita

Adalita Srsen, former lead singer of Melbourne band Magic Dirt, released her first solo album last year. It may’ve taken about two years to be released but it definitely was worth the wait. Don’t expect too much similarity to what Magic Dirt produced, with rock songs that were all about thrashing drums around while strumming on the guitar like there was no tomorrow. In fact get ready for something that remains in your mind with a certain depth that can’t be touched on so easily.

Throughout the album Adalita seems to have isolated each track to have an individual mood but connected them through a sort of emptiness that could even be deemed as quite unsettling. The first track touches on a physical loneliness and perhaps even sexual frustration “I guess this sound is soothing / Yes boy I need your body.” “Hot Air” is one of the more tranquil tracks even though her lyrics defy how relaxed she actually sounds: “I turn from side to side and I wonder when I’ll get to sleep.” The guitar solo which uses distorted, echoing guitars gets hypnotic after a certain point. “Perfection” starts with a clean guitar riff and her dense vocals accompany it flawlessly. The rawness in her voice keeps a heaviness that is amplified with the sounds of a cello and deep harmonies.

Adalita manages to depend more on her vocals and the guitar for time as opposed to using the drums. She uses the heavy guitar sound as a beat as she sings in an almost monotonous melody. On Adalita her lyrics make her seem stuck in a state where she can’t move forward and is longing for some one or something that has left her. In her track “Jewel Thief” it starts again with unclear guitars that are hypnotic and a very simple bass beat which gives the track some strength. One track in particular touches on this yearning for some one that is now just a memory. “You always come back to feature in my dreams / I could be there by now if you’d invite me darling.” During the whole track the guitars remain heavy-handed along with her vocals that do have an echo that add intensity but the harmonies towards the end of the song build a chilling climax.

Some of the tracks featured on Adalita have long intros or bridges; there is one instrumental track, which is the song that seemed to stick the most. “Lassa Hanta” has a sound that feels like it’s in a dream-state which could not be woken up from. The few clean guitar notes that are played give a certain movement where as the background noise is in an uneasy standstill and it is not until a minute into the track the guitar adds some sort of motion.

Adalita may first appear to sound like an apathetic view on life but it really seems like a rollercoaster ride of emotions in a very unnerving state. After listening to the album the first time I could not help but listen to it every time I needed to listen to some music. Adalita has captured the essence of ‘lingering’ in a subtly elegant manner.
by Kristina Dias

February 29th 2012
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