Aleesha Dibbs might be one of the hardest-working musicians in the world… At the very least in the top 5%. Having cut her teeth in a ton of different bands, (Dive Bell, Prudence, Lorelei, Double Vision, Mvlholland, Lisa Mitchell, and Angus and Julia Stone just to name some), she’s ready to spread her wings and release her debut solo EP. She’s titled it Paradise Lost and it’s a collection of gauzy, airy, and pleasantly-haunting electropop. It’s clear that this has been a transformational experience for Aleesha – over the course of Paradise Lost, you hear an already talented musician/songwriter coming into their own.
EP opener “Batallion” is a slow burn that introduces the listener to the hallmarks of Aleesha’s work – expect ethereal synth work; splashes of electronic percussion; industrial ambiance; and, of course, Aleesha’s dark and lilting vocal presence. “Batallion” has abandoned factory vibes – with its bass drum beating mechanically in the distance, it sounds like the march of mechanization. With omnipresent, fuzzed-out guitar; slashes of buzzsaw synth, and jittery drum machine work, the song feels cold and calculated… At the same time, it never quite loses its organic roots. This is the precarious spectrum that Aleesha’s music lives in – not quite tangible, but inherently human.
Song two, “Distance,” finds Aleesha singing in an ear-catching, rhythmic chant. “Distance makes the heart grow fonder” is certainly a sentiment we can all relate to, but when you realize Aleesha follows that up with “that’s not applicable here,” you feel the deep dichotomy between those two statements. There’s something heartbroken about her work – whether it’s the impersonal artificial percussion (which suits her art perfectly) or her glassy-eyed singing, it’s clear that Dibbs is processing some sort of trauma – she says:
“Contrary to the innumerable, seductive, and feel-good narratives being volleyed at us, Paradise Lost challenges the expectation that change and growth are supposed to feel good.”
Even through song three, “Conjured You Up,” swelling synths and ghostly percussion twist and turn through your speakers like spectral visions. As the EP fades out through closing track, “Comin For Me Now,” you’ll wonder to yourself if you’ve processed some of your own thoughts and feelings without even knowing it. That’s the power behind Paradise Lost – it acknowledges that change really is hard – and the unsettling (but ultimately beautiful) vibes coming out of Dibbs embody that ethos perfectly.
You can preview “Distance” from Paradise Lost via the Soundcloud widget below. While you enjoy the sneak peek, find out all the different ways to support Aleesha through her Linktree… And most importantly, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the full EP’s release date, June 30th.