Leila Abdul-Rauf Cold and Cloud

Leila Abdul-RaufCold and Cloud
Known for her vocal and guitar performances in Hammers of Misfortune, Vastum and Amber Asylum (as well as occasional piano and trumpet contributions), Cold and Cloud is Leila Abdul-Rauf's debut solo effort. The talented multi-instrumentalist brings her keen sense of soundscape construction and sonic textures to the record; it's a misty, ghostly creation rooted in setting and atmosphere. Composed primarily for keyboard, brass instrumentation and voice, the tones don't shimmer so much as sigh — silken sheets of sound stirred by a sentient wind. The sense of movement Abdul-Rauf conjures is airy without being insubstantial, while the atmosphere is positively ectoplasmic in viscosity. The swooning vocals possess a deceptive weightlessness, for while the tone is often light as a cloud, the mood evoked is meteorite-heavy. From the heartrending "Despair From Words Unsaid" to the breathtaking instrumentation of "Ibis," Cold and Cloud is a gorgeous debut. (Pesanta Urfolk)