The ambient trio from Bristol that make up Ilya find their identity in a sound that is at least as progressive as the likes of Air, whilst retaining subtle pop sensibilities, reminiscent of Radiohead (should they be stripped of their guitars and Thom replaced with a female vocalist).
Which leads us nicely to Ilya's singer, Joanna Swan: the EP's title track is draped with sensual and thoroughly engaging vocals. Close your eyes and you'll find yourself in a new and unforgettable place, like Bjork on a tropical beach.
Aside from Soleil Soleil, which could be the soundtrack to your best dreams, Ilya serve up an indulgent slice of slow grooved harmonies and sprawling ambient sounds. Yesterday (When I Was Alive) stands up proudly without the help of Swan's phenomenally touching voice (she wanders into the fray after three minutes or so). Heavenly is seven minutes of dilatory mood, but you'll wish it was longer, and Painting Moonlight is as good as any song you will hear this year, blending piano and lingering delivery to heart-wrenching effect. Ilya ought to be big, because they thoroughly deserve it.
BUY Ilya - Soleil Soleil (CD)
Ilya - Somerset
Ilya - Bellissimo
Ilya - The Revelations EP
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