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Sign Libra – Hidden Beauty (2023) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Sign Libra – Hidden Beauty (2023)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 36:41 minutes | 371 MB | Genre: Electronic, Downtempo, Ambient
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © RVNG Intl.

Sign Libra’s third album Hidden Beauty is an intimate voyage through feminine nature, guided by the arts of subtext, musical collage, and mysterious allusions. Elegantly arranged, enigmatic, and mischievous, Hidden Beauty seeks to “release the invisible and bring fragility to the surface.”

From the rainforests of Closer to the Equator (Sounds of the Dawn, 2016 / Antinote, 2018) to the surreal lunar landscape of Sea to Sea (RVNG Intl., 2020), Agata Melnikova, the Latvian musician behind the Sign Libra symbol, has developed a signature blend of evocative composition with lyricless, ethereal vocalizing. Hidden Beauty attends to a closer space than her first two albums, a playfully layered pastiche of refined references, drawing musical inspiration from the assortment of Erik Satie, the early work of Mylène Farmer and Laurent Boutonnat, and 90s R&B.

The first inklings of Hidden Beauty arrived in 2019, with the basic contours of the album sculpted in 2020 and early 2021. Like Sea to Sea, Hidden Beauty was invented as a solitary creative effort, but this time under uniquely hermetic impositions. Tethered to the world only by screen, the artist sought inspiration from an unlikely array of activities: new, unorthodox approaches at composing, learning French, a virtual pedagogical practice, and plenty of jubilant dancing in her flat, sunglasses on, to 90s dance music.

Hidden Beauty moves inward from the distant spaciousness of Sea to Sea in favor of a “chamber-like” sound, reflecting the intimate environs of its creation. Balancing the New Age balletic resonance of Closer to the Equator and the cosmic-dancerly tracks of Sea to Sea, Hidden Beauty combines deft, postmodern arrangements with popular, contemporary suggestions. The reverb drenching her previous recordings is sponged up in the songs of Hidden Beauty, giving the exercises contained within a feeling of presence, and closeness. And always Agata’s crystalline vocal furnishings, less a lead vocal than a first instrument, the ever-returning counterpoint in a beatific swirl.

The other hidden elements of this work are plenty, and perhaps best left concealed for the listener’s enjoyment. Or perhaps they are hidden in plain sight and sound, depending on what the puzzle pieces reveal to your imagination.

01. Sign Libra – Le Chat (04:20)
02. Sign Libra – Amber (03:16)
03. Sign Libra – Daybreak (04:33)
04. Sign Libra – Aqua (02:59)
05. Sign Libra – Clocks (03:34)
06. Sign Libra – Zephyr (02:26)
07. Sign Libra – Carte Blanche (03:54)
08. Sign Libra – Dégel (04:01)
09. Sign Libra – Coco de Mer (03:06)
10. Sign Libra – Tambourine (04:26)


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