ALBUM REVIEW: Lotic – Water

8/10

ALBUM REVIEW: Lotic – Water

Lotic, aka J’Kerian Morgan, declares her second album, Water, “This is the record I always wanted to write. This feels like my arrival as an artist.”

Water, slated to drop October 29 via Houndstooth Records, contains nine tracks and follows on the coattails of Lotic’s 2018 debut album, Power, which, like Rumpelstiltskin turning hay into gold, morphed emotional susceptibility and anxiety into an amalgamation of poised empowerment.

It’s interesting to note the name Lotic comes from the Latin word lotus, the past participle of lavere. It refers to “living in actively moving water” as opposed to lentic, which is defined as “living in still waters (such as lakes, ponds, or swamps).” The term aptly describes Lotic’s music, which moves with profound emotions.

Originally from Houston, now based in Berlin, Germany, Lotic moved to Berlin in 2012 after graduating from the University of Texas. Once in Berlin, she soon connected with the Janus Collective, followed by releasing a series of mixtapes and EPs. In 2016, Bjork commissioned Lotic to produce a pair of official remixes of “Notget,” as well as opening for Bjork in Berlin during the Vulnicura Tour.

Water begins with “Wet,” opening on deep, dark droning tones, followed by the entry of luminous leitmotifs. Wavering, intermingling vocals drift and glide on eerie tendrils, mirroring Siren-like timbres. Whereas “Emergency” rolls out on warbling, shifting harmonics accented by twittering clacks as Lotic’s high, sailing vocals imbue the tune with ghostly, strident textures.

“Always You” fuses hints of jazz with supernatural layers of rippling, riffling sounds. A discordant sparkling piano and percolating tones contrast with Lotic’s dreamy, evocative voice, seething with sensual timbres.

“Apart” opens on gleaming notes backed by wafting surface tones. Lotic’s soft voice imbues the lyrics with voluptuous tendrils. Opening on Lotic’s wistful, a cappella voice oscillating colours gives “Oblivious” spectral colouration, followed by the entry of heavy, thrumming washes.

The final track, “Diamond,” travels on low, throbbing groans, while Lotic’s voice delivers wailing emanations backed by thrilling vocal harmonies. The harmonics expand and gather thick resonance and then drop down to a cappella voice once again, followed by shimmering textures that take on depth and dangerous sounds.

More experimental than conventional, Water manifests spine-chilling harmonics and strange, bewitching vocals, symbolizing temptation and desire.

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