Album Review: Chiara Berardelli – Seamonster

In just a few days, Chiara Berardelli is launching her latest studio effort, Seamonster. The songwriting is ambitious, but it sure pays off for this unique Glaswegian.

Last week, we interviewed Chiara Berardelli about her forthcoming album, which she described as being her most personal yet as well as finding the recording process somewhat “overwhelming”. Despite the shift of focus to a more personal set of lyrics, Chiara insisted she “didn’t want the album to be miserable”. To say she struck a great balance of heartfelt emotion and uplifting vibes would be an understatement.

The album opens with ‘Free Floating Love’, an almost creepy, lullaby-like tune which introduces listeners to the vibe of the world they’re entering. Chiara’s soothing vocals soak over the xylophone’s notes, and within 20 seconds – you know you’re hearing something unique here.

The record seemingly shape-shifts from track to track, with ‘Road’ being more of a blues-lite style to the intro song, and the title-track ‘Seamonster’ being a gorgeous folk-y tune. The sheer range of her ability is astounding, as she nails each song’s vibe with perfect execution.

The lead single from the album, ‘Deep Space Hibernation’, is absolutely a stand-out. The inspiration for this one reportedly came from when Chiara heard the phrase being used to describe the two year hibernation process of the Rosetta probe on its space mission. Interestingly, she does attempt to transport you into space with this track, with the floaty instrumentation and her soothing vocals making a good backdrop for a space-themed day-dream. In fact, in the aforementioned interview we held with her, she described the song as “hypnotic”, which I feel is a flawless way of putting it.

Taking a break from the somewhat gloomy vibes of ‘Deep Space Hibernation’‘Best Friend’ is a wonderfully uplifting, upbeat song which showcases Chiara’s vocal talent in a different light. Rather than her singing in her usual slow, almost drawl-like nature, she seems much happier here as she focuses on the more positive things about her life, and even gives a shout out “to those who feel the same”. The lovely accordion work does wonders in providing a happy background to similarly contented lyrics.

Chiara has said that the album’s theme is based around her willingness to be a mother, but coming to terms with it not being a possibility. Despite this, she does keep the album as positive as she can, and I feel the best example of this being the case is in the album’s closer – ‘The Best Is Yet To Come’. She pays homage to the opening track in several ways, including revisiting the xylophone sound as well as the calming vocals, which in itself may be a nice metaphor for the circle of life.

Seamonster launches on March 2nd, and this is one you don’t want to miss. It’s an easy, yet totally enjoyable, album to listen to from start to finish, with the range of styles keeping you intrigued and guessing along the way. Chiara Berardelli has a beautiful mind, and Seamonster does a stellar job in showcasing it.

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