CZARINA: Painted Holograms Album Review

Coming all the way from Brooklyn you have sublime singer/ songwriter Veronica Faye. She became a professional singer at the age of 14, Faye formed and led New York City-based progressive metal band, AIKOSTAR and she then took a hiatus in 2006 to focus on her burgeoning career in footwear design. This venture was a successful one as Veronica was a full time creative director and the founder of the famed footwear and accessory brand, IVY KIRZHNER NEW YORK.

2018 then saw the emergence of Veronica’s latest project and this saw her adopt the moniker CZARINA. My ears were blessed with her outstanding originals earlier this year, the song in question being Silence & Surrender. Two months later saw the unveiling of sophomore single Blaze, from this very moment I knew CZARINA had an exciting future ahead of her.

11th November 2018 saw Veronica independently unleash the debut CZARINA EP and this being Painted Holograms. This dreamy self penned concoction consisted of 9 tantalising tunes, 8 of which were originals and then you had a compelling cover of The Cure’s Burn. Painted Holograms opened up with Silence & Surrender (Neon), everything about this wondrous number was pure perfection. Smothered in synth pop goodness, Silence & Surrender was an addictive gem which transported me back to the 1980s. Those verses were so impeccable whilst the catchy chorus was literally a breath of fresh air. Veronica’s vibrant vocals were extremely enchanting resulting in the perfect piece of synthtronica. Sophomore single Blaze was next up and this was a sheer magical piece of sheer bliss. That marvelous retro sounding melody was packed with synth beats which I considered to be a throwback to the 80s, CZARINA’s succulent vocal tones were sugary sweet and then you had those perfect lyrics which put me in a trance. Lasting for just under 6 minutes, the brilliant Blaze was a right epic which slowly intensified. Following on was Parallel Lines and this being a well written piece of perfection. Both melody and lyrics meshed together perfectly creating something which hit me like a full on force. Then those tasty tones were sumptuously sweet creating something mesmeric. Gravity was a real game changer. The first time I heard this shimmering song I was well and truly captivated, Gravity was a gentle ballad esque jam which dazzled me. That mesmerising melody was so soothing whilst CZARINA’s vibrant vocals were candy coated. Actually Vero’s warbling had me picturing Shakira. All in all Gravity was a well written masterpiece packed with spellbinding lyrics which hooked me. Halfway in we then get to the only cover on the EP and this being Burn. Originally by The Cure, the impeccable Burn featured on the soundtrack to The Crow in 1994. Now the epic synth led melody was extremely intense whilst Faye delivered this compelling cut with plenty of gusto. Title track Painted Holograms was a compelling upbeat track which I fell for hook, line and sinker. The majestic melody packed a punch, CZARINA’s glitzy vocals were ever so impeccable whilst these wondrous words pointed to a relationship that’s come to an end “It’s an illusion baby/ To be whole and satisfied/ We could have been exceptional”. But the girl in question still harbours feelings for the guy “I’m not over you”. Next up it was Midnite Drive and this being a enticing tune that’s been flawlessly delivered. Everything about this was literally spot on, Veronica Faye’s vocals were candy coated and those sleek lyrics had me hooked from the get go. Midnite Drive could quite easily be the perfect accompaniment to any Science Fiction film, those whimsical words focused on escapism and the need to be somewhere safe. Once over it was then onto Hourglass, this delightful tune was yet another retro flavoured synthtronica gem. Those luscious lyrics left me spellbound, Veronica’s vocals were a breath of fresh air and then there was a smoothness to that synth led melody. All in all this was a magical way to end such a phenomenal masterpiece. Straight after Hourglass it was then time for Silence & Surrender, think of it as a bonus track. Now I have so much admiration for this delectable debut single, it enthralled me the very first time I heard it back in June. The synths, lyrics and vocals combined together perfectly creating something which made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on edge. It was this version which CZARINA released as a single. What made Silence & Surrender (Neon) different to the EPs closer was the fact there was a 15 second outro.

You can purchase Painted Holograms from iTunes

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