Posts Tagged ‘Briana Marela’

This is the third album by the Seattle experimental ambient pop singer/songwriter. Her first two albums were self-released, but she joined the Jagjaguwar Records family for this album. In a separate development, she joined forces with st, who has produced records for Sigur Rós. So she’s got better production, she’s got label support, and she had a significant tour to support the new album, which came out on August 21st. Because of her sweet voice of an angel-child, she’s compared to the late Trish Keenan out of Broadcast, and to Jessie Stein out of The Luyas. As much as I like both of those bands and both of those singers, I like this even more. Again, this was an album that wasn’t really all that well-received by critics, .


Briana’s lyrics are forceful, and throughout her second album, ‘All Around Us’, traditional song structure gives way to plainspoken declarations that pull back the record’s shroud. Her first single,“Surrender” is musically delicate at first, with flickering blips and chords that float into earshot like fireflies. “Take Care of Me” is the album’s brightest and most immediate song, a buoyant celebration of friendship with a skittering beat and a warm, sweet melody. And title track “All Around Us” is a stark but inspiring beauty, built on the memory of a family member of Briana’s who passed away, and the sadness of not being able to say “goodbye” or “I love you” one last time. It is the balance of the abstract and the intimate that makes Briana Marela and ‘All Around Us’ so special.

Utterly beautiful collection of heartfelt & dreamy songs, perfect for an evening of emotional self-indulgence


Briana Marela is an ambient pop/experimental singer/songwriter from Seattle. I don’t know anything about her and had never heard of her until I got an email promoting the new album, which came out this year on  Jagjaguwar Records.

She self-released a cassette-only album called Water Ocean Lake in 2010, followed by the Speak From Your Heart album in 2012. She immediately got to work on the new album, writing the songs in 2012/2013. Through a series of circumstances, her new songs found their way into the hands of Sigur Rós producer Alex Somers, and they started working together in Iceland to get All Around Us made. At some point in the process, she joined the roster at Jagjaguwar. While this is her third album, it’s the first with label support and the first that will have a significant tour to back it. Her tour, by the way, is a run through North America as the opening act for ambient/electro songstress Jenny Hval.


”I started out that song with just the chorus, ‘you take care of me like I’m the only one’. I had written the first verse for it, then I felt that I wanted a song with a beat and I had a little Casio keyboard with beats on it. I’d recorded different beats and put them in a computer, then I panned one left and the other right before I put them together and slowed it down a bit. There was something with the beat that I liked. From there I just recorded the vocals I had over it and then started writing chords. There was an earlier demo version that was on a cassette compilation in a magazine called The Believer, a very early version of the song when I just had recorded it. This guy Calvin Johnson from K Records had asked me to put it on the compilation, and I was like ‘okay, it’s not really done yet but I’ll put it out”.

I wrote it about the person I was dating at the time. I’ve really only had two big relationships in my life, I’m kind of flick, I don’t really date people that much. I’m kind of shy and weird. So it was my second big relationship and it was a lot different than my first where I felt like I was the one nurturing the other person a lot, trying to help take care of him. Making sure things were okay for him, he was an artist and kind of unstable. Then the second was almost the opposite, I was the unstable one, frantic and weird and he was always helping me. I felt it was so nice to be helped and have someone who made things right when you were just feeling helpless and distraught.”

– Briana Marela


Judging by the gorgeous, grand and glitchy sound of her new single ‘Surrender’, we’re pretty sure new Jagjaguwar signing Briana Marela is going to release one of the most enchanting and captivating albums of the year when it’s out in August. Produced by Alex Somers (Sigur Ros) and with strings by Amiina, Briana has certainly surrounded herself with some impressive cohorts…

Opening with Disney-fied synth-based atmospherics, Briana’s delicate vocals – which sit somewhere between Regine from Arcade Fire, Cat Power and Tegan and Sara – lilt over the elegant instrumentation as she sings: ‘I’ll give you all I’ve got’ over and over and again before demanding your attention with the line ‘I abandon my mind’ – just as the song hits its hypnotic peak. With its dreamy feel and the computer-based manipulation of melody and vocals, Briana will appeal to those who love Efterklang, Meursault and other bands who specialise in offbeat yet elegant pop.

Briana Marela – “Surrender”
New Record ‘All Around Us’ out August 21st on Jagjaguwar!