Published Dec 02, 2020On her debut full-length, Montreal-based multi-instrumentalist and producer Eve Parker Finley (f.k.a. Lonely Boa) refuses to be boring. With a delightfully dizzying blend of baroque pop, synthetic soundscapes and dance beats, Chrysalia transforms as it progresses, showcasing Finley's virtuosity as a composer. Channelling Final Fantasy-era Owen Pallett — particularly the playful spirit and insistent violins of "Has a Good Home" — Finley oscillates from lush, pulsing pieces to atmospheric escapes, allowing Chrysalia to twist and turn without ever losing its footing.
Although Finley's tentative vocals appear in the corners of this album, she often lets her well-curated balance of acoustic and electronic instruments do the talking. On "Clouds," for instance, Finley builds a whirlwind of subtle drum loops, encircling violins and cascading synths, only to bring the piece back to the dance floor with unexpected electropop pulses. This piece epitomizes her ability to meld unlikely sonic environments, providing several songs that manage to sound, in equal parts, like a cèilidh, a low-key rave and a chamber music concert.
Across its 10 tracks, Chrysalia's most notable feature is its versatility. This is showcased when the 3-minute mellow instrumental "Droney Discord" slides into album highlight "The Rules" — a powerful, purposeful centrepiece driven by insistent violin loops (à la Steve Reich).
Beginning with the introspective string swells of "Meditation #2" and culminating in the saxophone-propelled indie rock explosion of "Toy Animal Contemplates Life," Chrysalia is defined by its ability to metamorphosize — it's quite the treat when an album invites you to shapeshift. (Coax/Florafone)