Argonauta (Western Vinyl)
Reviewed by Alejandra Ramirez, Fri., June 1, 2018
Aisha Burns' plaintive alto soars above percussive bursts and rolling acoustic melodies in opener "We Were Worn." Sprawling with gentle lamentations, ethereal timbres, and stringed instrumentation, both the song and sophomore album Argonauta expand upon her 2013 debut Life in the Midwater. Her contributions for local troubadour Adam Torres and big sky instrumentalists Balmorhea inform the San Antonio native's expansive Americana as rich guitar strums and longing violin buttress Burns' world-weary and transformative voice, which herein documents the tumultuous loss of her mother coupled with the start of a serious romantic relationship. Swashes of reverb and lullaby guitar render "I Thought I Knew You Well" panoramic, while gentle reverie "Must Be a Way" washes into an ambient landscape as her voice soars and dips. The title track rings stoic despite Burns' howl, cutting through the bedrock of bare-boned instrumentation. Closer "Where Do I Begin" ripples into a manifestation of Aisha Burns.