The melding of pop and art music by Stephanie Rearick is reminiscent of Kate Bush. But on measured, almost stately experiments like "Night," she avoids Bush-style quirkiness by emphasizing her own considerable facility on keyboard.
The fourth track on her new album Democracy, "Night" has an arresting lyric about finding oneself alone in the darkness, and Rearick treats each syllable as if it were a piece of taffy, pulling and elongating it until she's isolated the peculiar music of every vowel and consonant. But it's her insistent, rather minimal piano figures that draw you into the darkness like some kind of pianistic mantra. At once lulling and terribly strange, it's the sort of pop statement that pays dividends for both fans of Charles Ives and Fiona Apple.
Rearick may be too individual a talent for the mainstream, but these days she's composing and playing the sort of songs that often attract a sizable cult following.
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