Light Asylum

Light Asylum

Light Asylum

Light Asylum’s Shannon Funchess has one of the most memorable voices around. It’s not virtuosic in a conventional sense, but she’s a powerful, affecting singer with an unusual timbre. Along with her musical partner Bruno Coviello, Funchess makes music that combines minimal synth, EBM, and other elements, and the end result is hard-hitting. The duo’s self-titled full-length debut starts with “Hour Furnace,” where Funchess immediately stuns with her eerie performance. “IPC”—which recalls the concise, edgy sound of the late-'70s British electronic outfit The Normal—finds the singer insisting that “nobody’s innocent/no more/in their eyes.” Sexy, ghostly male vocal samples mark “Heart of Dust,” which displays a sense of beat-riddled grandeur. The spare “Sins of the Flesh” has an intense, feverish pulse, while one of the most striking cuts, “Angel Tongue,” finds Funchess backed by a groove evoking the electronic wing of krautrock. “End of Days” ripples with synth obbligati as Funchess paints dark images of dark times. The mysterious “A Certain Person,” punctuated by horse whinnies, brings the album to a close.

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