We’ve been a fan of the Australian artist IKSRE since we first heard her work that often pairs ambient and neo-classical compositions with meticulously collected field recordings. On “A Storm to Begin” Phoebe Dubar expands on her trademark lush synths, layered vocals, strings and binaural beats, against the epic backdrop of field recordings captured up and down the east coast of Australia.

To provide some context to the where and why, her press release reads: “A Storm to Begin…brings her vocal talents to the fore alongside sweeping strings and the backdrop of a rainstorm; the aching, restrained Heart Goes .. which opens with a simple heartbeat, swells to a crescendo before closing the album with a question mark;the lapping waters of Boorangoora (aka Lake MacKenzie), a huge, inland lake on K’garii (fka Fraser Island) juxtaposed with an expansive choir of voices; and All the Sparrows Have Left the City, which, like the album title, feels like an intermission, its tension building but never fully resolving, hinting at this “in between” stage we find ourselves at in the world right now. 

“This is our time to pause. Our time to stop. Our time to look hard at the stuff we usually push down and avoid. Now is the time for us to bring that to the surface and look hard at what we have become. Pick things apart, throw away the things that no longer serve us, and breathe fresh new life into the things that sustain us, the things that have mattered to us through these strange times we’ve been living through. This is our intermission, our in between, and if we do the work now, we can move into the next act with confidence”. “

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