For the debut of her band Ilsha, songwriter Ilse Hamelink wrote five songs that manage to be both personal and exuberant. Each song is a snapshot of a particular moment in time, capturing the feelings and thoughts of that precise moment in sound. This is also how Ilse lives her life: open to all emotions, while remaining an open book about her doubts and fears. Dive is by no means an ‘easy album’, but the raw, naked core of the songs has been made more bearable by the colorful arrangements added by the band. These layers make listening to the record an enlightening experience instead of a painful one.
Dive has become an experimental folk album in which you can wonder around. The repetitive vocal lines are soothing and enthralling at the same time. As you wallow in melancholy, you may find yourself floating above the ground. There is a constant light in the darkness of this record, and Ilse’s heavenly voice guides you towards it. The beautiful simplicity of the songs is rooted in nature, where you can be at peace with who you are: barefoot in the grass, immortalizing these special moments in songs; the sorcery of good art. The record’s tension, dynamics, sad emptiness and lush arrangements will muster feelings, and these feelings will simply be welcome. Dive is a record to comfort those who are sad and weeping.
Dive is the debut by Rotterdam-based band Ilsha. Ilsha is the main musical project of singer and guitarist Ilse Hamelink, who is a music/art/nature therapist in real life. On the record she gets help from a few veterans from the independent music industry, such as Gerrit van der Scheer (Bonne Aparte, Herrek), Aino Vehmasto (The Secret Love Parade), Anna Berkhof and Floyd Atema (Herrek). The record came out on 12” vinyl with a lovely layered sleeve on October 29, 2021.
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