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Sign Libra’s third album Hidden Beauty is an intimate voyage through feminine nature, guided by the arts of subtext, musical collage, and mysterious allusions. Elegantly arranged, enigmatic, and mischievous, Hidden Beauty seeks to “release the invisible and bring fragility to the surface."
From the rainforests of Closer to the Equator (Sounds of the Dawn, 2016 / Antinote, 2018) to the surreal lunar landscape of Sea to Sea (RVNG Intl., 2020), Agata Melnikova, the Latvian musician behind the Sign Libra symbol, has developed a signature blend of evocative composition with lyricless, ethereal vocalizing. Hidden Beauty attends to a closer space than her first two albums, a playfully layered pastiche of refined references, drawing musical inspiration from the assortment of Erik Satie, the early work of Mylène Farmer and Laurent Boutonnat, and 90s R&B.
Hidden Beauty moves inward from the distant spaciousness of Sea to Sea in favor of a “chamber-like” sound, reflecting the intimate environs of its creation. Balancing the New Age balletic resonance of Closer to the Equator and the cosmic-dancerly tracks of Sea to Sea, Hidden Beauty combines deft, postmodern arrangements with popular, contemporary suggestions. The reverb drenching her previous recordings is sponged up in the songs of Hidden Beauty, givingthe exercises contained within a feeling of presence, and closeness. And always Agata’s crystalline vocal furnishings, less a lead vocal than a first instrument, the ever-returning counterpoint in a beatific swirl.