Copal Into the Shadow Garden

Hannah Thiem went from a violinist backing Kanye West on his East Coast tour to headlining as the leader of her NYC-based five-piece ensemble, Copal. Her second EP, Into The Shadow Garden, is a stunning, Moorish-influenced mosaic pairing violin and cello with rhythmic percussion. Modern drum and keyboard flourishes, along with Thiem's vocals, sung in German and English, keep the mainly instrumental record from sounding overly archaic. In fact, on "Ceútara," you can easily imagine the song becoming the theme for a Middle Eastern version of Mission Impossible. The ambient, exotic "Shadows" closes the album on a high note, leaving you wanting more. (Halytha)