Album Review – Innessa – Self-titled

The Sunshine Coast really is starting to attract an interesting collection of international musicians that choose to call this great area of ours home. Brits, Canadians, Americans, plenty of Kiwis, and now add Russian to the list.

My first encounter of Innessa’s performance was at a Circle of Sounds Open Mic night, where she managed to pull off a rare feat; she played her two allotted songs, and not a soul was talking during her performance. That’s impressive.

Though there is a certain je ne sai quoi about her live performances, her album, despite apprehensions, is a very good representation of her work.

Innessa’s vocal qualities and song-writing would put her in the same category as the quirky female-songwriter with a distinct voice – think the likes of Bjork, Sia, Kate Miller-Heidke, Tori Amos, Kimbra etc.

The first two tracks, polar opposites; one being light and poppy, the other venturing into her more seductive darker side, make for an interesting introduction, but personally Innessa really shines when she ventures into the more off-kilter stylings which also incorporate some gypsy-esque instrumentation. Take the track ‘Dumb and Blind’ for example, the strangest of tangos with a catchy hook of a chorus. It actually is reminiscent of 90s quirky songstresses Tori Amos, and Max Sharam (remember the song ‘Coma’?).

The album dips and weaves in light and dark tones, offering folk stylings with a pop edge. It is when you get to the final tracks of the album, that Innessa begins to hypnotise with tracks like ‘I Will Fly’, and then the last few sang in her native Russian tongue.

Innessa is a great example of a truly unique musician residing right here on our Sunshine Coast, and if she keeps coming up with material that has featured on this album, she’ll definitely be getting the attention she deserves from the greater powers that run the industry.

– Rooster.

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