Rykarda Parasol – Our Hearts First Meet

Rykarda Parasol
Our Hearts First Meet

Our Hearts First Meet is Rykarda Parasol’s first full length after the Ep Here She Comes, but it sounds as though it should be the soundtrack to a noir film. A gothic instrumental introduction makes way for the first vocal track, “Hannah Leah,” that opens with sparse acoustic guitars and Parasol’s smoky yet sensual voice. The song is soon transformed into a dark, cinematic tale when Parasol’s haunting vocals are joined by a piano and then layers of lush harmonies during the chorus. I got a chill when I heard the piano enter the scene for the first time during the lines “Toodle loo / They’ve all abandoned you.” The song not only has an amazing amount of depth and soul, but it sounds perfect with her deep voice.

The unique set of pipes Parasol displays throughout the album are chilling, painful, and compelling. However, with 15 tracks filling this album, it’s easy to tire of such a distinct sound that does little to mix up the mood. Parasol has definitely found her musical niche, but perhaps she could expand just a bit. While she doesn’t need to break out her dancing shoes or put on a smile, she could try a slight deviation as she makes her way through the track listing. As a listener, it is difficult to get through a long album full of dark and depressing material in one sitting.

With that aside, the dark and depressing material treats Parasol well. Her voice reaches out in a way that will send a chill up your spine. In “Night on Red River,” Parasol turns to anger as she grits her teeth and hisses her lines above the persistent guitars and banging piano keys. The chilling voices near the end of the track sound like the wind whistling through distant trees at night, like ghosts calling out to the living.

Setting the scene and building up a mood is Rykarda Parasol’s specialty. Her voice will wrap around you like a blanket of shadows and give you goose bumps as you proceed further into the depths of the album. So turn off the lights, turn up the volume, and get ready for a complete cinematic experience.