Album Review: Johanna Glaza – Exile

Johanna Glaza - Exile
  • Johanna Glaza - Exile

Editor's Review

Meticulously crafted, uniquely shaped and embracing the strange, Exile is a gorgeous addition to Johanna Glaze's discography. If you're looking for something different - don't miss this!

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Striking, beautiful and something completely different – Johanna Glaza’s new album Exile defines “weird and wonderful”.

Johanna Glaza is impossible to categorise in a single genre or vibe. She is simply individual, paving her own path through the unique sounds of her stunningly crafted music.

When we spoke to her following the release of her single ‘Space Mermaid’, Johanna noted how she “had to stop categorising songs into catchy or not catchy, folk or pop…Instead I wanted to get on a journey …” After just a few play-throughs of Exile, it’s clear that she’s been achieving her goal.

Kicking off the record is the title track ‘Exile’, a haunting tune that sets the tone of the rest of the album wonderfully. The music is led by Johanna’s beautiful vocals while the piano and accompanying instruments trail alongside her. Even during the climax of the song, Johanna stands above the band and entices the listener with her alluring voice.

‘Dear Life’ is juxtaposed right after the title track, and lifts the tempo up slightly. Arguably a more accessible song, it really showcases the singer’s ability to effortlessly adapt to different styles, while still making them sound like her own. This sound is sort of revisited later on in ‘Lonely Island’, which I feel is the standout song from Exile.

It is an incredible task to avoid being pigeonholed, but one has to wonder if songs like ‘Catch And Escape’ don’t reveal Johanna’s influences to be along the lines of Florence & The Machine or even Olaf Arnalds. The stark contrast of the familiar and the alien is just gorgeous, which makes it all the more upsetting when you realise this album only has 7 songs on it!

Exile as a whole is an open window into Johanna Glaza’s vision, something that many artists strive to achieve. It doesn’t over complicate itself, it’s not something you’d listen to every day – but you will be rewarded with repeated plays. We will likely hear nothing quite as magical as this for the remainder of the year, but at least we can feel grateful to have been graced with it at all.

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