Irene Skylakaki is the Greek-born songstress that is carving out a niche for herself as the must-hear voice in alternative-folk music in the way that acts like Bob Dylan, Iron and Wine and Bon Iver did before her. A seasoned performer and expert songwriter, Irene has been on the scene since 2014 honing her craft and making a name for herself internationally.
She’s been on a roll this year, steadily releasing songs throughout 2020 including the singles; ‘Mary Smiles’, ‘Dreamy’, ‘Sutherland Avenue’ and of course, her latest album’s namesake – ‘Souvenir’. Irene’s ability to seamlessly blend heartfelt lyrics with polished, atmospheric and alien-like production has contributed greatly to establishing her signature sound that keeps fans coming back for more.
Sticking to her winning formula with Souvenir, Irene hopes to keep fans on board as they segue from her last release, ‘Sutherland Avenue’ into her fourth studio album; an eleven-track long musical excursion through the innermost thoughts and feelings of Irene Skylakaki.
The lead single, from the album, ‘Thank You. For Good Science’ is a shining example of both her lyrical prowess and creative, out-of-the-box approach to music making. In it, Irene speaks about a place she likes to go when she feels low, a coffee shop inside her head where she feels safe and secluded from the world, a concept many of us are probably familiar with and that’s precisely the beauty of it. Throughout the album, Irene speaks on very ordinary and relatable subjects but in a way that’s so wonderfully ambiguous and poetic that it contributes a unique edge to her songwriting as well as the overall listening experience.
Irene Skylakaki has a special way of making her listeners feel comforted and understood through her words; in relaying her own quiet thoughts and secret vulnerabilities, she makes it safe for others to do the same. Yet, piercing through the embrace of her words are the shrill, distant sounds of warbling synths, gentle chimes, electric guitar chords and the occasional backing of an angelic choir, all coming together to create an out-of-this-world sonic atmosphere, Irene’s signature sound and the only consistent them across the project.
Despite what the album lacks in homogeneity, Souvenir is still a masterfully created body of work, the songs may not flow neatly from one to the other like traditional albums but every song is carefully and artisanally crafted. The quality of the music in Souvenir is undeniable and the approach to both the production and songwriting will continue to stand as a testament to the imagination and talent of Irene Skylakaki.