Klima: Klima

Klima's one of those albums that seemingly appears out of nowhere and then leaves a lasting impression. The self-titled collection is the creation of London-based, French singer-songwriter Angèle David-Guillou (aka Klima, from the German word for ‘climate') who's also one-half of French outfit Ginger Ale and has contributed vocals to Piano Magic's recordings since 2001.Recorded by Angèle at her London home on 8-track with production and mixing handled by Piano Magic's Jerome Tcherneyan Guy Fixsen of Laïka, Klima's full-bodied arrangements feature sweeping strings by Psapp's Gwen Cheeseman, Christophe Rosin's electric guitars clusters, and rambunctious march rhythms by Lou Ciccotelli (Laïka /Eardrum).

Some songs are sparsely clothed (the melancholic closer “The Damage Is Done” and the ominous gothic lullaby “Her Love Is Happy”) while others are lustrous by comparison (“The City,” “Fluorescent Stars,” “You Make Me Laugh”). A pronounced electronic dimension emerges in some contexts (“The Third Man,” “Your Game is Over”), broadening the album's sonic range, and the sonic potential of Angèle's voice is explored in many songs too (multi-tracked, it voice swells into a serenading chorus in “Why Does Everything Have to End”). Angèle mines her considerable life-experience for her revealing, often autobiographical lyrics, in songs like “The City,” where she reflects on moments of loneliness she experienced when living in Paris, and the haunting “Lady of the Lake,” about a childhood best-friend who committed suicide at 15. What results is beguiling material that oscillates between euphoria and melancholy and that feels intimate but not hermetic. Her music, a rich synthesis of electronics and acoustics, is distinguished by two things above all else: her voice, an alluring quiver that's both satiny and seductive; and her gift for bolstering her trip-hop songs' potency with memorable melodic hooks.

November 2007