As a music addict, it's always exciting to start a new year of music releases. Sure, you look forward to new music on the horizon from your favorite bands and artists, but just as exciting for me is the search to discover new music and new acts. Every year, new favorites are added to the list and it makes the hunt all the more worthwhile.
We head to Canada for our first discovery of 2015, Halifax's Alana Yorke. The singer/songwriter lists Kate Bush, Enya and 80's synth-pop as influences and that makes perfect sense when you listen to her debut EP Dream Magic. Produced by Yorke along with Ian Bent, who also played a major role on this EP on multiple instruments, the seven songs on Dream Magic are soothing, hypnotic dream-pop with Yorke's smoky vocals leading the way. Tell me you don't hear the Enya influence on EP opener, and personal favorite, "The Wichita Years". Gorgeous harmonies are in abundance.
Her piano work is also on display throughout. Strings swell and add to the lush environment on "Forbidden/Hidden Man" and "Song Of The Piano Man", it's simply a beautiful listen from start to finish. Yorke's love of synth-pop comes out on "Start Over Again", a track that sounds like a lost mid-80's soundtrack. Mixed in Montreal with Arcade Fire's engineer Mark Lawson, Dream Magic is a perfect introduction to an important new artist coming out of Canada. I recommend you get lost in its sheer beauty.
Favorite tracks: "The Wichita Years", "Forbidden/Hidden Man", "Start Over Again"
Dream Magic was self-released January 20, 2015.