Soulful sounds from past and present meld together beautifully on Alice Ivy’s debut album I’m Dreaming. It provides a relaxing and interesting listening experience.
Alice Ivy was determined to create and release an album that should be listened start-to-finish, and it’s something she kicks off with 2016’s ‘Touch’. Featuring Georgia van Etten, the twinkling opening eases you into the album, before the beat kicks in, with it’s influence from The Avalanches clear. The warm tone felt throughout the record starts here and moves into 2017 single ‘Be Friends’, which highlights Ivy’s eagerness for collaboration. Featuring Cazeaux O.S.L.O and Tim De Cotta, the track kicks up the tempo and provides a soulful arrangement for Ivy’s collaborators to shine.
The I’m Dreaming journey continues with one of the best arrangements on the album, allowing Bertie Blackman’s vocals to shine on ‘Chasing Stars’. The synths and horn section soar, giving the album highlight a great sense of travel and flight. Ivy’s passion for soul music starts to become more prominent in the next section of the album, with ‘St Germain’ and ‘Charlie’ having some great-feeling horn sections. ‘Charlie’ in particular shows off Ivy’s soul influences, with the track having that vintage record crackle giving way to a drum-beat that wouldn’t sound out of place on a James Brown record. The vocal and horn section peak beautifully, really making this track a standout.
‘Almost Here’ kicks into another punchy horn arrangement, before introducing another excellent collaboration, this time from RaRa. A hard-hitting drum line keeps the track moving, along with soulful keys in the background to give RaRa’s lyrical flow a platform to ooze on.
‘Get Me A Drink’ features an amazing vocal from E^ST in the first verse, against a memorable synth line that sets the laidback groove alight. When Charlie Threads fires back in the second verse, he oozes cool with his rapping, sitting beautifully against the synths and drums kicking on in the background. Finishing the album is ‘Kaya High’ which features a pure vocal, against one of the more soulful instrumentals on the record. This is the Sunday morning recovery track, finishing off the party and thinking about what’s come before. Another tight drum rhythm grooves the track into a more danceable one, tying all of Ivy’s many influences together.
You can feel J Dilla, Flying Lotus and The Avalanches influence all over Ivy’s work here, but she is able to put all of these influences together and create a sound entirely of her own. As a debut album, Alice Ivy is starting strong with I’m Dreaming, presenting a neo-soul experience that marries all of Ivy’s influences, the new and the old. What remains is an enticing body of work that will leave the Melbourne artist one to keep an eye on.