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Now Hear This: And We Rise - Gina Graves

Rating: *****

Gonna be honest, I'm pretty stoked to check this one out. Gina Graves is a Delaware-based singer-songwriter that just self-produced a record called "We Rise".

From the looks of it, she's a dream-pop and piano rock artist much in the vein of Tori Amos and Bjork, both of whom I absolutely adore.

The songs come from a source of great personal pain and subsequent rebirth as she lost both of her parents, one after another at the age of 41 before having a miracle baby at age 46. Heavy stuff.

I'm a sucker for emotional dream-pop so all of this sounds right up my alley.

Let me have a listen and tell you whether it'll be up yours as well.

Stream the "And We Rise" in it's entirety by clicking here:

The opening track "Everything You Are" starts with a dark and haunting piano riff before she bursts into verse. She's got a really great singing voice that is equal parts Tori Amos and Hope Sandoval. That's a great combo. The song itself is great in the way that it really introduces us to what Graves is all about. Haunting and lovely. "Glide" floats along in a less haunting way, but there is still this darkness lingering in spite of the positive lyrics. Gorgeous paradox there. Track three is "If You Dare" and the Tori Amos vibe is really shining through on this one. I gotta be honest, I love this so far. "New Star" is just gorgeous and touching. Lyrically it's moving. Really good stuff again. "Your Beautiful Self" isn't my favorite track but it's still rock-solid. It has more of the Tori Amos/Sarah McLachlan energy which I dig. It's still really good, with time changes aplenty and gorgeous vocals. "I Am Light" has more of that enchanting piano/vocal combo which is really what I think I'll take away from this one. It's a woman and her piano making magical songs. "Bring You Back" and "Turn Blue" both have that beautiful darkness that is delivered with absolute grace. This album is a revelation of a new vocal star as far as I'm concerned. "Golden Arc" is like a lullaby. Actually, I think it is a lullaby. In any event, it's another gorgeous song on an LP that is absolutely chock full of them. We are going into the last 2 tracks and I'll be shocked if this isn't headed for the coveted 5-star rating. "All Your Dreams" is more of the same, which in this case is a good thing. She can really sing and play and the fact that she writes such enchanting and mysterious songs is just icing on the cake. Title track "And We Rise" is inspiring and maybe the most pop-friendly song on the album. A fitting end.

Flawless end-to-end. Fans of Tori Amos and Sarah McLachlan will rejoice in what will no doubt be their new hero. Keep an eye on Gina Graves. I can't imagine a scenario where she isn't successful. Just perfect.

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