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Maria Minerva, "Histrionic"

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Maria Minerva

NNF's favorite comedienne/diva/artstar Maria Minerva returns with her greatest album to date, Histrionic, encapsulating universes of life wisdom, deadpan truth, and heartbreak abstractions.

Maria Minerva's music has always felt suffused with a sense of distance. Her songs long for states of being just beyond reach. Though her earlier recordings communicated this disconnect via Wi-Fi warped fidelities, her recent work is more interested in overtly contemporary sonic vocabulary: digital, detailed, diaristic. Histrionic is Minerva's first full-length conceived and finished on American soil (she recently acquired a U.S. artist’s visa) and is, coincidentally, her most versatile and assured.

The album's 11 skewed slices of synthetic pop function collectively as a fragmentary self-portrait: there's the shuffling, layered beats of various UK bass scenes absorbed during her years in London clubs; the anthemic '90s global dance pop of her youth in Estonia; the spoken-word and experimental samples gleaned from her university days; and the floating textural ballads born from the displaced life of a touring musician, stranded in hotel rooms and airport terminals. The lyrics are similarly layered, vulnerable yet oblique, embracing pop tropes of romance and heartbreak while also hinting at their hollowness. It’s this woozy commingling of dispassion and melody, of fantasy and foreignness, that infuses Histrionic with such rich ambiguity.

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