SIERRA - See Me Now
SIERRA has done what I usually believe is impossible so early in the year; she’s already made it onto my top five for 2022. Of course, it’s yet to be seen if other artists can ascend as high as she can but considering that the above rating is so rare the last time I gave it out was in 2015, I highly doubt anyone will be coming close anytime soon. Nonetheless, SIERRA has blasted all my expectations with one of the finest dark electronic EPs to date. Featuring a collection and understanding of industrial techno, EBM, darkwave, and science fiction soundtracks, “See Me Now” is a god damned masterpiece.
The EP begins with the title track, ‘See Me Now’. Touches of bass, slow crawling, dark, cinematic synths, and spoken word lines from SIERRA herself are found in the opening moments of the song. SIERRA poses the question, “Do you see me now?” in a menacing tone. It’s then that the punchy bass show itself. However, this is not standard dark dance music; it’s a driven and well executed ballad of live electronic music, untouchable production, and fierce imagination. In the same vein as ‘See Me Now’, SIERRA slowly ramps up tension in the beginning of ‘Trust’. It’s a wonderfully built segment that lasts for around forty-five seconds before she unleashes this dark dancefloor banger. Cybernetic beats whip out as various electronic textures decorate the song. It’s forward momentum never ceases and every time the song ended, I just wanted to put it on repeat.
‘All Or Nothing’ is a song that gives off the feeling of a high stakes mission, as the title should suggest. And the music does the theme justice; the rapid but high-pitched electronic notes and high ambient synths in the background give off both a nervous yet hungry sense. The song isn’t as boisterous as anything else on the EP, but the cinematic appeal of it is undeniable and grand. Seeing how I already reviewed the single ‘Control’ (read HERE), I shan’t write new thoughts of it. Instead, I shall quote myself:
‘CONTROL’ is a hypnotic and mesmerizing dancefloor number complete with deep, robotic like vocals that repeats the lines, “Ain’t about money / Ain’t about Fear / Ain’t about Control / Ain’t about pain”. The final word in that trilogy varies throughout the stanzas but, unlike what you might think, it never gets annoying or played out. The voice sits perfectly in the mix and never tries to dominate SIERRA’s wondrous musical talent. SIERRA’s brilliance in ‘CONTROL’ lies within the subtle background ambiance; so silent yet it gives the track such a stark atmosphere. The beats are rooted firmly within industrial techno roots, yet at the same time has a near-future vibe that never lets up. SIERRA excels at constantly keeping the song moving with new electronic samples working their way into the song. This is not a by-the-numbers beat, but a moving synthetic creation.
The final song on the album, ‘Rise And Fall’, begins off with what sounds like a lo-fi organ. This somber note is exacerbated with depressing synths that come into the song none-too-late. However, as the track moves forward blips of hope emerge from the darkness thanks to well-placed upbeat synths and heavenly sounding choral background notes. If the rest of the album was meant to be the meat of a movie, this is the song that rolls during the end credits.
SIERRA has simply outdone herself on “See Me Now”. Listening back through most of her discography is impressive enough, but “See Me Now” feels like her peak of understanding her own craft. “See Me Now” is the type of release that makes my skin crawl every time I listen to it and I can envision a thousand adventures whilst shutting my eyes. This is one of the best EPs I’ve listened to in quite some time and I can’t wait for the vinyl copy to land at my doorstep. Nine-and-a-half out of ten.Jan 30 2022
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I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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