Ilias – All The Way Up Review

 

Ilias is a Algerian-Australian musician from Sydney and he has described his new studio album All The Way Up as  a “personal film soundtrack” and talks of the unique and eclectic sound of his album which he has been working on for up to ten months, along with a musical thread running through a varied collection of songs.
 
The album opens with soft acoustic lapping and rocking of ‘Someone Like You’. It’s made more expansive and spacious with the meandering feedback and soft edged lead guitar elements which echo out into the space created. A space made all the more fulfilling through his hushed and open vocals. ‘My Girl With Blue Eyes’ is more evocative of a jangling guitar, pop song with swooning lyrics delivered with a Neil Finn sort of quality that doesn’t make it cheesy or too sweet as the song’s quality is also accessible with it. ‘Fire Away’ has a completely alternative feel and dynamic to it with bold churning synth surges and rapid, offset percussion that calmly, yet with a hint of urgency; set the foundation for his wistful vocals which offer up a wonderful contradiction of sound. The chorus see’s the electronica clash and the pulsate and surge past each other. This then ushers in greater vocal echo and distortion to the point where you are immersed by the song as you become unsure whether you should be calm or uneasy about it. Such suspicions are answered with the shedding riff that tears down all before it at the song’s conclusion. A wonderful piece of recording and production.
 
‘Turn the clock back combine to the simple percussion of an early pop song with delicate melodies and simple lyrics which are strung together by the chiming, yet distorted synths and modulations. ‘Jet Glow’ is akin to Beck’s most recent work with the trembling, huge sounds from the guitars and the echoed whirrs and jolts that reverberate between your ears and almost take you off somewhere else. A simple, but wondrous instrumental track that leaves all of your senses heightened and on the edge of every dark melody and vibration. ‘Finding You’ has that simple ballad-like acoustic and percussion combination which is pushed and moved off it’s straight track progression by the Beatle-like shifts, scathes and track manipulations which are forced into the songs rhythm to reimagine and reconfigure an otherwise basic track. It is album that has that wonderfully distant and daydreaming tinge running through each track but at times it can be swooning comfortably or dropping you a cliff edge of heavy and quaking melody. An album with some of the best production I’ve hear all year, which enthuses and shakes the simple base structures of the tracks.
 
Ilias – All The Way Up = 8.5/10
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