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Lia Ices just kills it in her sophomore album, Grown Unknown, creating a blend of experimental, folk, and pop influences that feels brand new. Her voice may be sweetly pure and soaring, but it’s far from bland, with just the right wailing edge and even a touch of soul.

Reminding me of another recent favorite, Glasser’s Cameron Mesirow, with whom she shares a sort of electronic-Joni-Mitchell sensibility, Lia’s voice just keeps on surprising the listener. On some tracks she’s purring, barely audible; on others, she yelps out giddily bird-like notes with all the dexterity that an education at NYU’s Tish School and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts can impart. With that pedigree and a feature in Vogue to her name, this beautiful girl is going places.

Admittedly, some tracks, particularly the more down-beat ones (“Love is Won”, “Lilac”) blend together a little on the first listen, but the album really does bear repeating due to the sheer beauty of Lia’s voice and her unique musical choices. Standouts include “Daphne”, for which she recently released a Greek-mythology-inspired video and which features backup vocals by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, and “Grown Unknown”, which amps up the album’s energy with rhythmic clapping sequences and the aforementioned giddy vocals.

She’ll be opening for the Cave Singers at The Autry in Griffith Park on March 13th, the beginning of spring break for the Claremont Colleges. Be there and be ready to fall in love.

Review by Julia Ringo

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