Our Daily Bread 290: EX:RE ‘EX:RE’

December 10, 2018

Album Review: Gianluigi Marsibilio 

(4AD) Digital: 30th November 2018; Physical: February 2019

“Praise of Delicacy” could be a good title to present this 2018: A year that has seen the release of such captivating albums as Adrienne Lancker’s Symbol and Snail Mail’s Lush, and the Boygenius EP.

The “delicacy’ in a world that can be easily defined by the title of this year’s Mudhoney album, Digital Garbage: a rare gift of an album that hides a further ability to affirm a strong musical idea of identity.

If we talk about this we can’t help but think about the music of Daughter and the voice of Elena Tonra. An unexpected and beautiful spinoff of which, arrives in the form of Tonra’s solo Ex:Re project and self-titled debut.

From the outset, on listening to this record, we can understand perfectly the individual emotions narrated in the songs. Private instants are full of fantasies that reconnect to a personal universe, as ambivalence is transduced into light.

The circle of 2018 is therefore ideally closed with this great test of Tonra’s ability, which has shown to enhance her past artistic experiences – as we can hear in songs like ‘Liar’.

There is, in many tracks, this influence of his past works, characterized by a perfect redundancy sewn on the acoustic passages. The most interesting concepts, befitting of her delicate voice, are developed in songs like ‘The Dazzler’ or ‘5AM’.

Playing on a razor’s edge between the acoustic and electronic proves an extra ingredient for lyrics that are really poetic sketches.  The songs are like Norman Rockwell’s painting and the stories in the record interface like people in the hall of a grand hotel.

In songs like ‘Where The Times Went’ you can feel a strong inclination to self-criticism, the songs are not thrown and left to themselves but represent the completion of an artistic journey.

If we remember Vladimir Nabokov as a magician reference in translating Puskin, Elena Tonra can represent a turning point in a singer-songwriter who needs to translate urgencies and intimacy at its best.

As Ex:Re she has written the final page of this year’s diary.



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