Greece’s resident uber-cool, singer-songwriter Irene Skylakaki has been generating a lot of interest this year and deservedly so. She’s released a string of highly successful and distinctive singles over the past few months including the haunting sounds of ‘Sutherland Avenue’, the hypnotic synths of ‘Dreamy’ and the piano-led ‘Souvenir’, solidifying her sound and making her stamp on the world of alternative-folk music’. Now, Skylakaki returns to unveil her newest album, her fourth full-length project, the eponymously named and highly anticipated, Souvenir.
The sounds of Souvenir are angelic, ethereal and completely otherworldly, Skylakaki creates a sense of eerie calm through the use of gentle piano keys, acoustic guitars, atmospheric synths and of course, her incredibly angelic, whisper-like vocals that enshroud the listener in a comforting bliss. Enlisting the help of friends and fellow musicians Andres Mesa and Iain Gordon Smith for production, Skylakaki managed to create a collaborative project, a labour of love and a source of pride spanning several months and several miles.
Here Irene Skylakaki explains the creative process behind her album:
“A few years ago, I met Andres Mesa who was working at the studio of Phil Manzanera as a sound engineer at the time. Hewas familiar with my music and we started recording songs without a specific plan – sometimes this spontaneity creates a unique creative freedom which was the case in this collaboration. The recordings of the demos took place at Phil Manzanera’s Gallery studio which was the most precious experience. Andres’s fresh outlook on production was a driving power in the creation of the album.
We had a lot of musicians and friends contributing their talent over the years and the album lacks homogeneity in sound but is connectedthrough a deeper cause: recording individual songs that we are happy with irrespective of their style. During the lockdown, I had to leave London and come back to Athens, so I worked on a few songs remotely with Scottish musician, friend, and producer Iain Gordon Smith. This was also a different experience and I’m really happy with the outcome. Overall while this is my fourth album, it feels more like my first one, as my involvement in every little detail was much deeper. I believe it’s a good music ‘photograph’ of where I stand at the moment and I’m excited to share it.”
Irene Skylakaki’s album Souvenir is a dynamic, deeply personal and emotional journey spread across eleven masterfully produced and skillfully written songs. Her haunting, angelic vocals against the backdrop of gentle synths and soft percussive beats create a sound and mood unlike any other. Through her incredibly skilled penmanship and instrumentation choices, Irene cleverly manages to create music that is much like physical art; captivating, three-dimensional and up for interpretation.
Check ‘Souvenir’ out here.