Published Oct 16, 2018Montreal singer-songwriter Helena Deland continues her Altogether Unaccompanied series with Vol. III & IV. It's a hazy, tender rock lullaby of a record, following Vol. I & II, released earlier this year. Deland embraces sadness, insecurity and love on this record, with both fear and confidence.
Standout tracks include "Lean on You," a fuzzy, melancholic tune in which delicate vocalization, a thundering kick-drum beat and echoed guitar chords are the driving force, and "Claudion," a hazy and understated synth-pop tune, with plucky beats and a softly danceable sway to its rhythm. However, other tracks like "A Stone Is a Stone" and "Rise," though pleasant-sounding, blend in with the rest of the project.
Deland's realizations on "Lean on You" are as sombre as anything on Vol. I & II, but sobering: "It's effective, though I haven't gone this far / Swimming in the poison that we are." On "Claudion," Deland's voice is a hypnotic whisper, floating over the percussion as she sings, "I can look after you / But, girl, you should look after yourself / 'Cause night falls… and day breaks."
With the Altogether Unaccompanied series, Deland has built up a sufficient amount of intrigue. What could push Deland towards greater notoriety is a full body of work with the primary elements of the best tracks on Vol. III & IV: a diverse sound, and evocative lyricism. (Luminelle)