World On Fire starts with ominous breathing. It’s not shallow, but definitely not relaxing and deep, it’s not heavy, but certainly not gentle either. It could be the aftermath of something, or the preparation for something worse. World On Fire’s pulse takes its cue from it, transferring its breathy rhythm to the song’s electronic throbbing core, a backdrop to Lila Rose’s dramatic vocals. As the song grows, the intensity follows; strings complete the foreboding atmosphere.
According to a clairvoyant that Rose consulted before recording her new album, WE.ANIMALS, this shouldn’t be happening: there should be another album before this one. Fortunately contractual obligation does not apply in this circumstance. Fortunate, too, that Rose has found a way to combat the hyperacusis she was born with. It’s a sensitivity that causes discomfort from some natural sounds, and can make some music unpleasant to listen to. All told it’s an achievement to cherish.
WE.ANIMALS was recorded at a small studio in the woods outside Santa Cruz and at the Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, perhaps taking something of both environments for its all-round sound - part urban, part remote, part organic, part electronic. The album is out on April 20th.
Update, March 25th 2015: A stunning and powerful video is now available for World On Fire.