In the DIY era, it is sometimes difficult to discover the real musical growth diamonds. Only the best or most striking come to the surface. And that could be LIANA, consisting of the two sisters Lia & Lena Gӧҫer, Dutch, with Turkish / Armenian roots. For their mini-album ‘Cocaine Heart’, they have written, produced and performed all songs, including magic videos.
LIANA forms a playful combination of their western life and their (middle) eastern background. The six songs on their EP are a beautiful fusion of spherical, somewhat dark, melancholic and sensual pop, with beautiful oriental accents. You imagine yourself in an exciting, sensual world of a thousand and one nights. You feel the passion, but also the pain of love. That struggle between the two is expanded, layer by layer, into an intense whole in song, instrumentation, and structure.
Opener “Silence the Sirens” makes it immediately clear in which world you ended up. You will be guided to passionate love with floating, mesmerizing choral sounds. They call it the Operatic style, referring to the opera as well as the dramatic. A light percussion supports the longing, intense vocal lines. The song flows away nicely through the magical world. But it has enough to offer in layering and tension arcs to hold your attention and to deepen it.
This not only works in the numbers but also between the numbers. Where the first song mainly sounds very sultry, “Hurricane” is much more up-tempo, more poppy. Yet the whole of LIANA through the use of floating strings and an Eastern-sounding second voice.
In the song “Ride or die” the two worlds merge into one another as an almost perfect mix between east and west: a cinematic ride, dark, passionate, dreamy and excited. Lia sings strongly, with a western base, precisely enough spiced with oriental accents in vibrato and resonance. With a nice climax due to the retracted guitar playing and firm percussion. The best of both worlds?
That often seems so, if you listen to the six songs one by one and end up with the final song “Psycho”. This starts appropriately with strongly distorted piano sounds and builds further into the psychic spheres through frightened strings and distorted head vocals. “Cocaine Heart” concludes with her most experimental song, which immediately makes you curious about what else is coming. Which direction LIANA will go.
But that is a question for the future. For now, we can safely conclude that LIANA has delivered a strong debut with “Cocaine Heart”, which offers enough prospects for further growth of the diamond. And don’t let them make a choice between east and west, but realize that the now served cocktail from both worlds produces a sultry, but a refreshing drink that stuns light all night long … and the next day makes you yearn for more. As painful as love can be … (7/10) (Own production)