Introducing: Pearla

PearlaThere’s an enchanting new folktronica star on the horizon. Pearla is the nom de plume for young New Yorker Nicole Rodriguez, who writes electronica infused songs inspired by the folky style of Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell. There's also a strong tinge of Laura Marling, one of her main musical inspirations, in her vocals and the interplay of light and darkness in her sound.

Released amid a flurry of appreciative online press and fans growing in number, her new single "Somewhere" twinkles with promise. Written about hope and disillusionment, caught in the chaos of her home city of New York, the song weaves brightness with a touch of suspense that builds as the song progresses. Opening with an electronic glockenspiel-like line, the melody has the warmth and homeliness of Bloc Party’s early work, her delicate vocals twirling around on top with scatterings of harmonies. But the higher notes of the instrumentation are slightly out of key, creating the unsettling mood. This mirrors the words beautifully: "My heart is a shell that lost its snail, it crawled away when I needed it the most." The chorus sees this tension released, briefly at first, then more fully later as the song builds into the refrain of “Somewhere” with her vocals more and more piercing and growing in volume.

Her first collaboration with producer Jon Buscema, it is a gorgeous capturing of the struggles of aspiring to live your dream in a city that can offer so much, yet can give so little. For Pearla at least, it seems that the struggles are all proving worth it.

Find out more about Pearla and listen to "Somewhere" below.

 

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