Maria Elena Silva, 'December'
Maria Elena Silva's voice floats like a feather swishing this way and that, painting invisible shapes with the wind. Her music, spacious and exploratory, does the same. "December," from the Wichita singer-songwriter's new album Eros (out Friday), starts as one thing and blooms and bursts as miniature revelations expand.
"I tell the truth too much these days / Some things are better left unsaid," Silva opens amid sparsely plucked electric guitar, her napkin-scrawled confession crumpled as soon as it's sung. Hammond organ drones and busy-yet-gentle drums enter the frame as sonic doulas, while a bass clarinet and second guitar lend a steady foundation to Silva's deepest anguish. The LA-assembled improv ensemble's arrangement can feel unsettled at times — the immense and intricate quiet of Talk Talk's Laughing Stock or Julie Tippetts' Sunset Glow come to mind — but is empathetic to the world shifting beneath Silva's feet.