Secret Fires is the latest album by Italian indie-pop group Ofeliadorme, and their first as a three-piece. We gave it a listen.
By Graeme Smith
Photo credit: Roberta Sardi
With a droning, delicate, whispered opening, first track Alone With The Stars threatens to be too minimalistic. However, it proves simply to be a ruse to put off the casual listener. After three minutes, Secret Fires is warmed up and ready to go, with an ambient explosion of electronic, indie chill. It’s worth the wait.
Body Prayer is almost mechanical with its beat, but its sharp edges are rounded by Francesca Bono’s Beth Gibbon-esque vocals. In fact, the comparisons with Portishead are ripe, though Ofeliadorme sticks closer to the mainstream than the Bristol band’s trip-hop mind psyches. Their sound is perhaps closer to London Grammar, Saint Saviour or Indiana.
Birch is perhaps the standout track of Secret Fires, with a compelling beat and echoing vocals invoking an epic journey. An honourable mention also goes to closing track Hairbrushing, full of tinkling keys and foreboding synth, it lingers in the mind long after the album has finished.
Across its eight tracks, Secret Fires plods along, wallowing in its ambience and there is a risk that it become background music, demanding a lot from the listener to stay focussed. That’s probably the intent. Enjoy on a chilled evening with friends or stick this on while hosting a dinner party.
If you like this album, why not check out Rob Sullivan?
Secret Fires by Ofeliadorme will be released on 17 March 2017.