Lia Hide – The Missing Fourth Guest
Not exactly Americana music this 8-cut CD drips influences that may result in having listened to Kate Bush, Cocteau Twins, This Mortal Coil, Jarboe (The Swans), Dead Can Dance & Laurie Anderson — among some others.
At first, Lia Hide’s juvenile-sounding tone doesn’t grip the ear. But as “Birthdays,” progresses a Euro-intensity builds beautifully in the song. It captivates, is alluring & dark. Something wicked this way comes….
Her voice takes root quickly & on her 4th LP the Athenian avant-pop artist’s self-produced The Missing Fourth Guest (Drops April 1–Conch Town Records) explores emotional struggles, human mortality & the human race’s place in the universe.
Lia Hide (vocals/keys) has classical music experience. She spices & spikes her music with cinematic guitar, orchestral explorations, electronica & dark tonalities. Recorded in Athens, Greece it’s about as far from Americana as you can get.
By cut 2 “Uterus Will,” is even more starless & may borrow from the early dark work (1999) of Italian rocker Francesca Chiara “Il Parco Dei Sogni,” (“The Park of Dreams”) – “Strano Mondo” & “Edera,” particularly. (Lia would be in good company).
Lia’s music has good deep bass & drums with a breathy narrative. Not too overblown or pretentious. It cruises the netherworld of Brecht-Weill. For the most part “Niobe,” is for selective tastes — performed with expertise. “Row, Row, Row,” is decorated with Euro-melodic flavor. Some heavy-handedness, a touch of industrial musicality for accentuation but never veers into pomposity is bombastic. Lia has control & the music doesn’t get away from her.
The melodies float seamlessly on a murky surface of progressive dimensions. This tune’s Kate Bush meets Kraftwerk with the absurd vocals of Germany’s Renate Knaup (Amon Duul II) is exciting. Ms. Hide’s vocals remain expressive throughout. Her deep tones acrobatically go high & are surrounded by exceptional music (“Proposal”). She has clarity & power, showcases a shade of jazz in her voice.
“Cloud,” has clever chord changes. The guitars, drums are superb & the atmosphere is conducive to fairly good Kraut-rock. Lia adds a male narrative similar to the excursions on the classic 1972 LP Aphrodite’s Child – 666 (legendary Greeks musicians Vangelis & Demis Roussos) on “The Lamb,” ”Seven Bowls.” The Irene Papas cut “Infinity,” will probably never be topped.
However, the narration on “Cloud,” is mindful as well of Vangelis’ “We Were Uprooted,” from his (“Earth”) LP that had Warren Shapovitch’s intriguing narrative. Wonder if she ever heard this music.
It’s not Americana but it’s an interesting hybrid. Her band: Aki’Base (bass), George Rados (drums), Stelios Chatzikaleas (trumpet) & Dennis Morfis (guitars).
Color image courtesy of Lia’s website. The 32-minute CD: available @ Bandcamp & https://www.liahide.com/