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IAMTHEMORNING

Crossover Prog • Russia


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iamthemorning biography
Russian based outfit IAMTHEMORNING was formed in 2010 and describe themselves as ... a neo-classical vocal indie band... that ...combine non-typical but easily perceived vocal parts of progressive rock with a distinctly classical musical approach... They made their full album debut with ~ in 2012. iamthemorning have been an active live unit since they started, performing as a full 8 member band or in less numerous and stripped down versions. All band members have a higher education in classical music and are still studying this craft as of 2012.

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BelightedBelighted
Kscope 2014
Audio CD$10.77
$16.26 (used)
~~
Import
Beste! Unterhaltung (Broken Silence) 2013
Audio CD$16.78
$13.36 (used)
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  • Belighted on 31 Oct 2014
  • Belighted on 8 Nov 2014

IAMTHEMORNING discography


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IAMTHEMORNING top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.27 | 370 ratings
~
2012
4.30 | 117 ratings
Belighted
2014

IAMTHEMORNING Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

IAMTHEMORNING Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

IAMTHEMORNING Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

IAMTHEMORNING Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.25 | 37 ratings
Miscellany
2014

IAMTHEMORNING Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Belighted by IAMTHEMORNING album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.30 | 117 ratings

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Belighted
iamthemorning Crossover Prog

Review by BrufordFreak

4 stars While not as breathtakingly fresh as 2012's stunning debut, ~, Belighted is a step forward for this young duo of Russian songwriters. With Belighted iamthemorning steps into modern recording studio, collaborates with seasoned prog rock musicians, and lays down a more diverse palette of songs. What for me (and other reviewers) has really caught my attention is the growth and maturation of singer Marjana Semkina. Her delivery of the lyrics adds such a powerful emotional depth and 'heaviness' as to in effect upgrade what could be fairly run-of- the-mill songs into powerful masterpieces. I know of very few singers in progressive rock music--past or present--who have this kind of effect on a song's overall impact. In particular, "Romance," "The Simple Story," "Gerda," and "Reprise of Light/No Light," and the first and last "Intermission" benefit most dramatically from Ms. Semkina's growth--though no song graced with her vocal touch fails to engage and win over the listener. I have to agree, however, with other reviewers that I think it an overall damaging flaw of the album that Marjana's vocals are not mixed more prominently into the forefront.

The theme of having "Intermission" songs between most of the full-length, vocalized songs continues from ~ though here there are only five to work their magic between the ten full- length songs (most of which are presented in pairs). There is a difference on Belighted as the Intermissions are not so folk/neoclassical oriented. They are more like sound experiments, each showcasing a different instrument: Marjana's dreamy voice, guitar, piano & waves, cello & piano, and strings and voice, respectively. Each, in turn, is treated with various and sundry sound engineering effects.

Again, I can't say that this album has hit me with the same kind of power as their debut--but ~ was so fresh and unexpected. Belighted comes at you with Marjana's now familiar voice and a greater variety of backup and stylings, though Gleb's extraordinary piano work and strings arrangements are still quite present and essential to most every song. I am quite fascinated and taken with the five Intermissions, but there are two rather delicate piano-centric songs that don't lift off as well as my hopes and expectations desire despite Gleb's extraordinary talent ("Crowded Corridors" and "Os Lunatum"). I think I'm waiting for Marjana's input to take the songs to another level, to a some kind of soaring crescendo. These are by no means bad songs--and are intricately crafted pieces of beauty. They just could have been . . . more. And then there are three songs that simply don't click with me ("The Howler," "Romance" and "K.O.S.").

I agree that this is no sophomore slump. Belighted is a collection of beautiful, intricately crafted songs. Gleb and Marjana both display extraordinary growth, artistry, and skill. I want to give these shining young stars of modern music five stars but I think--I hope--that there is more, even better, music to come.

Five star songs: "To Human Misery," "The Simple Story," "Gerda," the Kate Bush-like "5/4, "Reprise of Light/No Light," and all of the "Intermissions."

4.5 star album that, unfortunately, leaves room for improvement.

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 Belighted by IAMTHEMORNING album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.30 | 117 ratings

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Belighted
iamthemorning Crossover Prog

Review by ole-the-first

5 stars 'Belighted' is the second long play experience from today Russia's greatest music act, iamthemorning.

Being as frail, etherial and beautiful as their debut album, '~', iamthemorning's second effort is also a huge step towards the exploration of new musical horizons. If '~' was completely a chamber album with a couple of heavy moments, 'Belighted' shows the listener a much more different genre palette, including some updates of their previously well-known chamber style (the most notable update is probably in '5/4'), but also representing a more coherent heavy side (the wall-crushing opener 'The Howler' and also, though being less a highlight, 'K.O.S.') and a bunch of new influences, including folk rock ('Gerda') and even some trip hop rhythms beneath the rich and at the same time airy sound flow ('The Simple Story').

A feast of sorrow and hope, painted by beauty.

Whilst influences from so-called post-progressive music (Steven Wilson, Anathema) are quite logical, 'Belighted' has no direct stylistic connection to any other band you might have in mind as an influence.

Unmistakably iamthemorning-ish, this album would serve equally well as a gift for band's old fans and as a good introduction into band's music for newcomers.

I could list this album's virtues for quite a long time, but instead it would be enough to say it is beautiful. And it is beautiful! So beautiful you would forget everything else, 'cause nothing else can matter when such a deep and unearthly beauty flows through your ears.

So that would be a huge crime for me to give this album less than 10 stars out of ten (or 5 out of five, according to progarchives' scale). Without any doubts, 'Belighted' would be this year's finest album. Don't miss it!

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 Belighted by IAMTHEMORNING album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.30 | 117 ratings

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Belighted
iamthemorning Crossover Prog

Review by mahgni123

4 stars I discovered Iamthemorning soon after they released their first album, and was anticipating the follow up with excitement and trepidation. The second album can make or break a career. It is either a disappointment or a triumph. I am glad to say it is a triumph with a few niggles. I will get the minus points out of the way first. The recording is flawed unfortunately, the vocals are too low in the mix, and in my opinion the whole thing sounds slightly over processed. Enough of the bad points,now the many positives. The intermissions are all beautiful in there many and varied ways. As for the actual songs,they are well constructed flowing and full of light and shade like any good song should be. The recording of a song cannot stop a wonderful composition from coming across to its audience.

The Howler. A nice medium paced rocker,starts the album of well.

To Human Misery. I like the mix on this one,a lot of interesting things going on in the background,it works well.

Romance and 5/4 reminds me so much of a Kate Bush structure,this is no bad thing.If talent of this stature can be mentioned in the same sentence you must be doing something right. The Simple Story.Just a good well structered ballad.

Crowded Corridors is one of my favourites, it flows majestically into the second part of the song which is as near perfection as you can get.

Gerda is just beautiful.

Os Lunatum. The piano and vocals together are stunning,the vocal being a little more predominant on this one.The guitar is also featured very well on this track.

K.O.S. This one loses its way a little, I find the drums a little over bearing in places,still a good track.

Reprise Of Light/No Light. Like the strings on this one,a nice blend with the voice.

My reservations apart about the recording,this is a fantastic album. The King Crimson textures that come across like on the Islands album are truly intoxicating. There is nothing wrong with things sounding like other things,not many things are unique. One thing is for sure,we have unique talents in Gleb Kolyadin and Marjana Semkina. I have had tweet conversations with Marjana,and I can say she is as charming as she is beautiful and talented. Gleb is an accomplished a pianist as you will ever hear. Buy the album and bask in its glory. A better recording would have given it 5 stars,then there is always room for improvement.

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 Belighted by IAMTHEMORNING album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.30 | 117 ratings

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Belighted
iamthemorning Crossover Prog

Review by Zitro
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Two years ago, a virtually unknown Russian band released a debut with chamber classical orchestration, gorgeous multi-layered vocals, and the occasional modern rock touch. Very few initially noticed it, but eventually by word of mouth, it became an unexpected favorite 2012 album in progressive rock, despite the scarcity of progressive rock elements. Listeners there mainly rated on songwriting and enjoyment.

Now, we have a second iamthemorning album, expanding on the elements from the first album. A confident, mature album that will likely bring rave reviews all over the place given the band is not as obscure as in 2012.

The music is once again heavily influenced by classical music. Vocals and piano continue creating the foundation of the music, with orchestral instrument, drums, and modern rock sounds adding layers whenever needed. Even the modern rock sounds are used in a very classical, 'iamthemorning' way.

The added complexity of the music was a risk. After all, the debut's instantly rewarding melodies and its safe, if brilliant, songwriting approach made it very difficult for many listener to honestly hate such an album. Now, we're dealing with complexity levels more to the tune of classical music and progressive rock. This is now easily categorized as progressive rock, with less direct melodies, knotty musical ideas, occasionally long songs, more in-depth instrumentation and lyricism. The risk is that I enjoyed the first listen less than the first listen of the debut. However, I cannot decide which album I prefer now. I feel like this one has a few minor flaws based on the risk-taking approach, compared to the near-perfection pop of the debut. However, there are even more 'WOW!' moments here in my opinion, some of the very best musical passages I perceive to come across.

Flaws? I seem to only gripe about the slow development of their last full song, the samples in 'Howler' and the beginning of 'K.O.S' with a repetitive, awkward drum beat and one-chord guitar riff. Luckily, the latter two songs are overall highly interesting and dynamic songs otherwise, which is why I said the flaws are not severe as they involve a small fraction of two songs.

Strengths? It's hard to name them all. The intermissions remain impressive. The first one has such a captivating atmosphere, I can't imagine anyone being hard-pressed to say 'nah' and stop playing the album. The fourth intermission (titled XII) almost reaches song-like status in length, starting with classical violin and continuing with mesmerizing piano. The last intermission is almost transcendental in a spiritual sense.

And then you have the songs and they are so, so good. All those subtle melodies and exciting instrumentation in 'Howler', the beautiful 'To Human Misery' with a very captivating main melody yet also with a lot of subtle instrumentation. I should try not to overuse the phrase 'subtle complexity', but I think that word really describes this album. Subtle complexity is what makes this album work so well: you latch on into some obvious melodies on first listen, but then all those little details won't make you lose interest. Every instrument plays melodies, sometimes simultaneously.

'Romance' and '5/4' sound a bit like more intricate version of Tori Amos music. They are whimsical, enchanting yet quite complex in instrumentation. Those little details like the muted violin melodies and brief 'shredding' electric guitar that somehow sounds mellow. The '5/4' song is mostly in 6/4 actually, but when it shifts to a 5/4 meter playing a carnival-like atmosphere, it's pure genius, even if it sounds like a horrible idea at first listen. It's an odd choice for a single. I thought it would be 'The Simple Story' which is more instantly recognizable with its melodies and the great piano line near the end. 'Crowded Corridors' is possibly their most accomplished composition to date and also their longest by far at nearly 9 minutes. It begins relatively subdued with their typical instrumentation and vocalizations, if more haunting than usual. Something else going for it is the more 'epic', dramatic moments that work incredibly well. It'd be interesting if they revisit this approach to songwriting in later albums. A particular highlight, besides the obvious piano solo in the latter half, is a slow melody at minute 3 being revisited at the very end at a faster pace.

By the way, most of these songs deviate from a typical song structure to help make it more impactful and dynamic. The song 'Gerda' starts very soft and delicate but later sounds very empowering and grand: it's yet another great song. 'Os Lunatum' starts as an outstanding piano + vocal duet, both at their very best, especially during the song's main hook. Guitars later become dominant on the song's instrumental section. The song concludes with a full band sound, the progression from the very beginning being very natural.

'K O S' may be marginally a less enjoyable song here because of that first minute which sounds repetitive and lacks what I like about the band. The rest is an interesting experiment as they veer towards a progressive rock / alternative rock sound without fully losing their trademark vocals, pianos, and subtle way to adding melodic layers. I love the way it ends, reprising the intro in such a way that almost redeems it. The 'Reprise of Light no Light' is another lesser favorite, developing in a slow fashion that sometimes tests my patience. I do love that it, along with the last intermission, ends with peaceful, abstract noise.

In the end, they have accomplished a very difficult feat, given the high standard the set themselves with their debut. This second album is very intelligent music as well as very deep, emotional music. It touches me. In the end, despite the occasional flaw, it's a masterpiece and I anticipate it being consistently among my favorite pieces of music regardless of genre alongside their debut.

Source: Free streaming off soundcloud.

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 Belighted by IAMTHEMORNING album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.30 | 117 ratings

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Belighted
iamthemorning Crossover Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Collaborator Post/Math Rock and Crossover Teams

5 stars The now infamous sophomore slump: what can be made of it? Why do bands debut with such fire and passion, but suddenly veer off course in sometimes epic fashion? Iamthemorning has not done this. Yes, it was a fear of mine, but this Russian two-piece has managed to stay my fears with a mature work of art. In fact, I would say that they have exceeded my expectations.

If you don't know about Iamthemorning, the bands consists of Marjana Semkina and Gleb Kolyadin, true artists and lovers of all things real and heartfelt. Marjana lends her angelic vocals while Gleb's masterful grand piano and keyboards are a strong foundation. On their first album "~", these two mesmerized with strong melodies, simple songs, and a hefty amount of neoclassical influence. Indeed, it was what I needed to hear at the time, as I fell in love with Marjana's brilliantly honest, emotional style and Gleb's ridiculous skill. Their combined, contrasting artistry is heavily felt, even in their production design. Naturally, then, I was hoping for a continuation of all this on their upcoming release "Belighted", snatched up by none other than Kscope.

"Belighted": what an interesting title. It literally means "in a state of spiritual and intellectual exaltation", and so I think this is an excellent hint at what this album is all about. Marjana gives her all in her vocal performance here. Her self-taught style is easily the highlight of the album, and her mastery of hooks (very difficult ones at times) never stops impressing me. But it's not just her vocal skill that impresses, it's the nature way in which she sings about very personal and intriguing, disturbing topics. She often seems very cold in her approach, yet only in a way that seems like a thinly-veiled cover for a plethora of very human emotions, from dissatisfaction and despair to hope and love. She maintains a delicate balance between vocal brilliance and fragility, especially on "Romance", "To Human Misery", "The Simple Story", and "Crowded Corridors", and this simply intrigues me.

Yet, the instrumentation on "Belighted" is equally arresting. Gleb astounds (as usual) with his elegant grand piano, creating atmospheres of sophistication and intelligence. A huge list of collaborators, including Gavin Harrison, have given use of their skills here, too, and it really shows. Iamthemorning, while still retaining some of their signature chamber sound, have decided to use a wider selection of instruments, utilizing electric guitars and ambient keys, too. You might be saying, "So what?" Well, for this neoclassical band that normally drove their music with the use of piano and violins, it's a big difference. Right off the bat, "The Howler" announces the presence of distortion with a subtle and addictive guitar lick that blends perfectly with the swirling acoustic instruments. Later on, in "Crowded Corridors", a whispering, ambient guitar adds touches of mystery to the music. As you can see, while they use some standard instruments, they use them in very Iamthemorning ways.

This small taste is an indication of the attitude present in this album. Iamthemorning, for better or worse, sounded very much the same from beginning to end in their debut album. As good as it was, it still explored the same sounds and ideas over and over again. "Belighted", however, shows the band's commitment to progress and maturation. Surrounded by their signature (and brilliant) instrumental intermissions, their main tracks are very different from each other. Like precious jewels, some are guitar driven, some are vocally dominated, some are dark, some are uplifting, and others have incredibly complex structures. "5/4", one of my favorites, showcases a carnival-esque, swirling melody that rises only once, and it's enough to leave you begging to hear the track again. This happens quite often in this album, and I'm afraid that, as a result, I can't really choose a favorite track. I would point to "The Howler", "To Human Misery", "Romance", "5/4", "Crowded Corridors", and "Light/No Light" as my favorites, and I appreciate them more every time I hear them.

Indeed, "Belighted" is often like a big teaser. It draws you back for more, and it absolutely requires 5 or 6 listens to appreciate (in addition to a big, sensitive sound system). I was speaking to Marjana about how I fall in love with this album a little more each time I hear it, and she was adamant about the fact that this album is meant to require time and persistence in order to grasp it fully. I have fallen head first into this world of invention, creativity, and pure beauty, and it has easily become one of my favorite albums of the year. "Belighted" is a monument to progression, art, human emotion, and deep storytelling that shouldn't be missed, and I certainly think many prog "veterans" could learn from this young band. With inspiring elegance, passion, vulnerability, and hope, Iamthemorning has ventured forth to present their work to the world, and I hope people will give it the time and accolades that it deserves.

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 Miscellany by IAMTHEMORNING album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2014
4.25 | 37 ratings

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Miscellany
iamthemorning Crossover Prog

Review by LakeGlade12

4 stars 4.1 Stars. A great taster to the upcoming album.

Miscellany was created during the recording sessions in London while making their second album which will be released in Sept 2014. Due to the long time it took to produce the album the band chose to release this EP as a treat to those fans who had funded them via kick-starter (myself included). This release contains a mixture of tracks from the upcoming album Belighted, alternative versions of new and older songs and one b-side.

The first song on this EP is "to human misery" which is an alternative chamber version to the song that will appear on the new album. Its a incredibly beautiful and catchy song and is my favorite on the EP. Unlike some of the other pretty songs on ~ its instantly accessible and yet does not fall into the trap of simplification. If their other quiet songs are like this then I am going to in for a real treat! I am looking forward to hearing the album version which apparently is much heavier.

"the simple story" and "intermission XII" are both directly taken from the new album. The former is a mid tempo rock song with some strong hooks that the band excel in doing. They have done stronger songs of this type however this song was meant to be a radio friendly single (it has its own music video). So as singles go its a strong track with lasting appeal unlike most poppier songs. The latter is a short neo-classical piece in the exact same vein as the intermissions on their debut album. Unlike the other pieces this one has several sections in it and has a darker atmosphere. It strongly reminds me of the shorter songs Steven Wilson used on Grace for Drowning. Hopefully they will be thinking on the same lines and use this song as a bridge to other songs with the same mood.

"scotland (unplugged)" is a interesting version of the original song. The first part of the song is mostly the same as the original while the second (which used to be quite rough and heavy) uses a lot of distortion and intense orchestra to make the listener disorientated and drawn into their world. Its certainly a highlight of the EP and as strong as the original (which was one of my favorite songs on ~).

"touching II (london mix)" is close to identical to the original song so its not worth talking about. "intermission VIII" is only available on this EP. Its a quiet piece and not as strong as the other classical songs, but it does make for a pleasant closer.

I tend to give EP's like this 3 stars because they are clearly not essential when compared to the rest of their releases. However while some of the songs here are not very special the flow from song to song on this EP is fantastic. This makes the songs so much more satisfying to listen to. So I will give this a extra star and recommend it to all casual fans (but get their debut first). I really hope the new album is up to the standard of this EP and ~, if it is then these guys will become stars in the prog world. And with them now signed up to Kscope perhaps the wider rock and classical world as well. Watch this space.

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 Miscellany by IAMTHEMORNING album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2014
4.25 | 37 ratings

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Miscellany
iamthemorning Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars Gleb and Marjana are currently working on the second album, but to prevent fans from having to wait too long they released this EP at the beginning of 2014 that contains some new songs, along with reworked versions of songs on the first album. Yet again I am struck by the quality of their performances, and is also worth commenting on the arrangements as they seem to intuitively know what they need on each song to maximize the potential, So there may be a few drums here, or additional keyboards, or strings, but always at the very heart of this is delicate piano and fragile vocals that draw the listener in to a wonderful world. Kate Bush mixed with Enya, with control and passion and never ever falling into New Age.

It is incredible to think that these guys are virtually unknown outside of a fairly small circle, as in many ways they are on of prog's best kept secrets which is just criminal as music as controlled and beautiful as this really does deserve to be heard by a much wider audience. I found myself enthralled with this EP, the production is superb, and I was drawn into a world of their making each time I listened to it. These guys are one of the best bands I have come across this year, with consistent high quality and a majestic presence that really belies what they are doing with the fragile and delicate music. Surely it can only be a matter of time before these guys get picked up by a major as this is a rare beauty indeed.

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 ~ by IAMTHEMORNING album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.27 | 370 ratings

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~
iamthemorning Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars Somehow I totally managed to miss the debut album by this Russian duo, and I first saw the name when reading a post by Second Life Syndrome on ProgArchives. A short while later he asked if I would mind reviewing their material, so I wandered over to Bandcamp and picked up "~", (I know the symbol is called a "tilde", so don't know if that is the name of the album or they just prefer the symbol). Anyway, this is a Russian duo of Gleb Kolyadin (piano, keyboards) and Marjana Semkina (vocals, backing vocals) along with some additional musicians, and after releasing this in April 2012 they revisited it and remastered it and then reissued it at the end of that year, and it is available both on CD or through Bandcamp (name your price).

There seriously just one word that fits this album, and that is "beautiful". Marjana has a fragile delicate voice that at times reminds me of Kate Bush, while Gleb has a wonderful touch on piano, and often these two are the main source of all the music. They do use other guests effectively, particularly with strings, and although there are also electric guitars and percussion these are used very sparingly indeed. Apparently they describe themselves as "a neo-classical vocal indie band... that ...combine non-typical but easily perceived vocal parts of progressive rock with a distinctly classical musical approach", but I prefer just to think of it as majestic and powerful, yet fragile and delicate at the same time. It is possible that this is one of the finest albums by a band you have never heard of, although if you ever check out the top 100 lists by year on ProgArchives then you may have come across these already, as they are currently sat at #2 for 2012. That puts them ahead of most of the Top 10, so they are above Motorpsycho, Big Big Train, Echolyn, The Tea Club, The Flower Kings, Magma, Silhouette and 3RDegree!

Overall this is an incredibly impressive debut, full of grace, full of beauty, and is absolutely essential.

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 ~ by IAMTHEMORNING album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.27 | 370 ratings

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~
iamthemorning Crossover Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars One of those days, I saw on Facebook a friend posted a link to his girl in which Touching by iamthemorning was being featured, the name of the band caught my attention, so I clicked on it, and later, I loved the song and wanted to discover more from them. So here I am, after some months listening to this band from Russia whose music actually is far from being progressive rock, but it does have some connections. Its debut self-titled album was released in 2012, but it was re-released one year later with 18 total songs. Though the band has just two official members, of course the music is performed with the help of other studied musicians.

The music offered here is closer to classical music, with a beautiful female voice and a very clean sound that allow the cleverly composed tracks shine more. It opens with "Intermission I" in which the sound of birds and a beach appear as background, then female vocals enter seconds later with repetitive phrases, then they vanish and a piano appears, playing in a truly classical way. It leads to "Inside" which shows its charm and beauty since the very first seconds, the formula is the same, female vocals and piano as main instruments, though some other ones are added here and there, producing a neo- classical style with the help of the different strings. After a couple of minutes the intensity increases a little bit, and a new structure is formed now, with a kind of mid-east sound that makes the music progress, though this was only a brief passage because it calms down and returns to its original form. If you liked these first two tracks, then you will love the album, otherwise, I think this may not be for you.

"Burn" lasts 4:40 and it is the longest track here, so you will not find epics, not at all, what you will find is a bunch of short songs that form one entity, well crafted tracks that give as a result one great final product. This song is wonderful, there is a bass on it making the rhyhm along with drums, but piano and other strings make a terrific work, always accompanied by the beautiful voice or Marjana Semkina. The music is great, I love the complexity of its structure, I love the changes and that post-rockish feeling that lies on it. This is one of my favorite songs here.

"Circles" is another wonderful track, not as emotional as the previous, but it also has its charm, so when one start listening to it, it is impossible not to feel touched by it, and at the same time, feel a strange but deep calm. "Intermission II" is a one minute instrumental track in a classical vein, with piano and cello creating a disarming sound. It leads to "Water Changing" whose sound is more oriented to the folk side of iamthemorning. This offers new elements, new textures that renew themselves in the same album, so it is healthy for the listener because the music is not stuck in a pigeonhole, it does change and shows different paths. A new one minute piece appears with "Intermission III" but this time it adds Marjana's vocals, beautiful as usual. Now it's time for "Scotland" which is another sensational piece that perfectly fits in with the band's style, here drums again add its rhythm while piano and strings produce a stronger and more emotional sound that later becomes rockier for the first time in the album. So it is a very good combination of classical music and soft rock, I repeat, that rockier touch appears only for some seconds.

And the one that caught my attention comes next, "Touching II" which is a truly beautiful piece that has the delicacy and charm of the voice, and the challenging and energy of the strings. I love this song, it might be catchy, but it is very well crafted, it starts slow and little by little progresses, adding new elements until it reaches a climax and the strings produce a heavier, terrific passage. It remains as my favorite piece. "Intermission IV" appears immediately after Touching, it is just a piano driven piece that leads to "Monsters", whose rhythm makes the music catchier, which is another point on favor, because it keeps the neo-classical sound, meaning the music is not really fought with a catchy sound.

After the intensity and emotion created by Monsters, "Serenade" appears with a magical sound produced by acoustic guitar making a clean sound, and being accompanied by a fast piano and a wonderful delicate voice. "Intermission V" brings tranquility to us with that amazing violin sound that creates beautiful images. "Would this be" simply continues with that great blend of classical style with folk highlighted by a beautiful female voice, and of course some rock hints in brief moments, like in the last emotional minute of this track.

"Intermission VI" is the longest intermission piece I think, you know, a brief pause, a shorter track, beautiful instrumentation and warm and calm vocals on it. This collection of short pieces is simply wonderful. "i.b.too." is the last "long" song of this album (I mean, over 4 minutes song). It starts much calmer than others, only with vocals and piano at least in the first minute, because later drums, bass and some other instruments complementing in a charming way this nice track, which all of a sudden becomes more aggressive, more passionate, and in consequence, much better. This may be an example of why iamthemorning is often labeled in the prog rock scene. This song is actually a killer, one of the best without a doubt.

The final couple is "Intermission VII" and "Afis". The first one of course is the shorter one, a beautiful piano driven piece that puts some tranquility on me. While the second one produces some melancholy, I sense a goodbye here, and it is, iamthemorning finishes a wonderful album with this beautiful piece, which as the other ones, gives charm, magic, and purify our souls. This may be a therapeutic album if you need an hour of tranquility and beauty, so please give it a chance, you can listen to it through their Bandcamp site.

I love this album, which has to my ears and soul all the positive adjectives I can mention, however I am not sure if this can be considered a progressive rock masterpiece, though musically speaking is simply superb, it flows perfectly and has no lowlights. Anyway, I will give it 5 stars, I love and enjoy it every single time I listen to it, and I hope you do.

Enjoy it!

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 Miscellany by IAMTHEMORNING album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2014
4.25 | 37 ratings

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Miscellany
iamthemorning Crossover Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Collaborator Post/Math Rock and Crossover Teams

4 stars Watch closely. I am really tempted to slap a really high rating on this new EP from the always amazing Russian band iamthemorning. I don't care if this EP, "Miscellany", only has two new songs. I don't care if this EP was an afterthought of sorts. What I do care about is the fact that this short EP is chock full of beautiful melodies, amazing vocals, and excellent musicianship. That, my friends, is what draws me to this band time and time again.

First of all, if you don't know who iamthemorning is, you should rectify that immediately. This two-piece band plays a refreshing form of chamber rock. Well, if you want to call it "rock". It's basically progressive music of some type mixed with neoclassical influences and a distinct artistic personality. It's light, fresh, stunningly beautiful, and thick with artistic integrity.

Now, "Miscellany" is an EP released by the band to tide us over until the launch of their imminent second album. Like I said, it features two new songs and some live and alternative tracks. First of all, the new tracks are amazing. "To Human Misery" is incredibly emotional and even hopeful. It shows iamthemorning at their best, honestly. The next track is "The Simple Story", another emotional track that features Gavin Harrison on some rather unique drums. These two tracks are surprisingly addictive and simply powerful.

The remainder of the tracks are either live or alternate versions, most of them from the first album. This is NOT a bad thing, especially if you don't own their first album. All of these songs are interesting and I even find that this London version of "Touching II" is the best version yet. That means a lot because I believe it to be their best song. Every single track on this EP is worthwhile, both for your time and your money. So, even though I cannot give this EP the highest honors, it still is very, very strong and promises an amazing sophomore album from my favorite Russian band.

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