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Aya Maguire, a singer-songwriter from Boulder, Colorado, is set to release her new album, The Sandcastle King. It’s a labor of love which is has been in the works for around six years, and this attention and care shows itself beautifully in every song. The artist’s debut album, it’s intended as a sort of experiment in transparency; laying bare the trials and tribulations of the creative process which often go unrecognized. Ironically, it’s also an exceptionally well-crafted album with no visible seams to be found anywhere, and the songs reflect a continuity of vision from a singular artist.
The tones of her voice are reminiscent of Joni Mitchell, and Maguire’s songs are filled with an inherent feeling of melancholy. Even on songs of relative calm like the lead single, “Water Rise,” there remains a sense of foreboding for what lurks on the horizon. Heartbreak is a common theme as well, but it evolves in its presentation as it grows from dejection on “There’s no such thing as a Portland Thunderstorm” to acceptance on “Colors.” Undoubtedly, The Sandcastle King is starved for warmth, but it remains an absolutely fantastic mood piece which is perfect listening for anyone searching for something similar to the way they themselves feel.
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