Masha Maria sings with a sweetness that you will find deeply endearing. Her style is contemplative and honest. The album Homes is a bright contribution to the singer songwriter discography emerging in the early 21st century. You’ll hear familiar lilting vocals and layered instrumentation for a satisfying soft pop style.
“Sail Away” reveals Masha Maria’s intimate style immediately. The vocal steals the show on the track. Although there’s a lot of layering going on with electric guitars and keys, the overall core of the track remains with Maria’s vocal. The core message of the song is to “sail away” or move on from a difficult situation. It’s an inspiring message.
The following song “Heavy Heart” was the track that won this review, bringing a genuine sonic purity that our readers found captivating. The song is a bit less “busy” compared to the opener, showing off even more of Maria’s clear vocal style. There’s another heavy ethos to this one, with a focus on the spiritual. One of the best parts of the whole song is the hypnotic acoustic guitar line that provides the base to the sound; it’s a folk rock element layered into the overall pop tune.
“All Mine” is a bit brighter, conjuring hope and joy a bit more readily. It’s got a sense of transcendence that reminds me of Penny and Sparrow. The vibrato on the vocal is a bit different than the other songs and it really works here. It seems as though she’s singing out to all of us a bit more boldly. It’s a proclamation of love, seeded with an audible expression of hope.
“Restless” includes more stellar guitar and vocal work. The picking on the guitar on this one rolls along with wonderful folk precision. It’s a sound I’d love to hear more of from Maria. The minor chord and overall feel of the track inhabits a different, darker place than the rest of the album.
The final track “Up North” comes to the listener with a powerful drum beat and more of a building atmospheric sound. The production on this style moves more into pure pop and away from the more stripped down elements of other tracks. That said, the vibe of the song is a little more contemplative and dreamy. As she wonders about what could have been, the lyrics feel like a personal account from a diary that we’re being allowed to peek at as listeners.
All told this is an exciting album. Maria’s vocals are enough to bring us back for more. As we get to hear more of her own style, it leaves a lot of potential for more intimate and thoughtful music.