Ideas Of Space by Tess Roby Album Review album review by Adam Fink for Northern Transmissions

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Tess Roby

Ideas Of Space

Elegant isn’t an immediate descriptor most people would use when describing the sound of an artist but elegant is the first thing that will spring into your mind while listening to Tess Roby. The Montréal based artist/producer and songwriter’s beautiful synth pop arrangements may feel simple upon your initial listen but the layers of depth and elegance to her songs shortly start to leap out at you.

Roby has just released her sophomore album, Ideas Of Space, and it’s a lovingly crafted and elegantly presented collection of songs. Roby’s explorative brand of electronic music was all written, produced and arranged herself with some assistance from Austin Tufts of Braids. There are definitely some similarities between Roby’s music and Braids but the songs she has presented here seem truly her own. Just the right amount of ethereal dreaminess and percussive flourishes all buoyed by Roby’s enchanting vocals.

Ideas Of Space is a true journey. A record you’ll want to listen from start to finish, as if Roby has committed to creating a true album experience, something that is increasingly rare these days. Lead track “Century” sets the tone right away with its sparse and simple piano arrangement and some floating synth flourishes as percussive shots wander back and forth between your ears . The real star of the show though is Roby’s vocals. When she hits that first chorus, which takes place even before the songs is sonically fulfilled, it’s a revelation. The way her vocal melody meld with the tracks production is truly lovely. “Path” with its looped vocal harmonies is reminiscent of Lydia Answorth in its meditative grace but feels somewhat more forceful especially when the drums kick in and the throbbing bass line elevates the song to the next level. The entire record isn’t only a dreamy affair. On “Up 2 Me” Roby incorporates some 80s inspired percussive synth parts into the mix as her voice soars over top an arpeggiated keyboard. Like most of the album, when the beat kicks in you can’t help but groove to it although these songs never explode into all our dance tracks. Everything featured her seems so thoughtful and well balanced.

Tess Roby is another amazing artist to come out of Montréal, a city already renown for its cultural community. With Ideas Of Space, Roby surpasses most of her contemporaries in terms of songwriting combined with thoughtful production. She really is one to keep your ears locked on as it seems like she is only going to get better from here.

Order Ideas of Space by Tess Roby HERE

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