Ekin Fil returns to the guitar on Dora Agora. Her earliest recordings, notably her debut on Root Strata, prominently featured guitar in this urgent expressions of a dreamy dreariness that immediately offered enthusiastic comparisons to Grouper. In her development as composer of ephemeral ghostliness for numerous albums as well as her scores to film soundtracks, that instrument has given way to keyboards, organs, synths, and various mood engineering devices, in her beautifully melancholy pursuits of an emotional emptiness through sound. Yet, the pandemic era gave Ekin pause to reflect on her creative process and she picked that instrument back up to create one of her greatest albums to date.
As direct and urgent as these songs can be, Ekin swaddles her acoustic guitar chords in soft-focus reverb and polyphonous shadow, colored with a judicious amount of shoegazing drone and somber atmosphere that speaks to her continued development as a composer. “Ghost Boy” in particular is a bittersweet, wistful tune whose arrangement harkens to Johnny Marr at his peak of effortless downer simplicity. “Farba” and “Yo Feelings” turn the emotional screws with soul-crush crescendos of vocal melodies that build upon Ekin’s lonely guitar chords. Again, Grouper emerges as one of Ekin’s closest neighbors, alongside Carla Dal Forno, Slowdive’s Pygmallion, and Movietone.
“I really feel like I’ve gone back to a time when I was recording songs with a guitar and keyboard when I was very young. It’s kind of like embracing Ekin from that period with my current ideas & mood. it’s an homage, it’s a wave, a hug from my present to my past…” (Ekin Fil, August 2022)
Mastered by James Plotkin.