On her debut album, The Inner Revolution, songstress Kira Fontana triumphs in embracing an emotional rawness without fear, while also exploring a soul-searching mysticism that's undaunted in recognizing life's ever-changing moves. Like Sinéad O'Connor and Tori Amos before her, the San Francisco Bay Area-born artist approaches such a task with unshakable power. Welcome to The Inner Revolution. "For me, [The Inner Revolution] is about getting back to the truth of who you are and coming full circle in life," Fontana says. "It's about really trusting that inner core above anything outside." For Fontana, finding that place where your creative desires become a tangible realization started as early as five-years-old, when she learned to play the piano by ear. Before she reached her teens, she was writing pop songs and classical piano instrumentals. She soon developed an insatiable appetite for all kinds of music, everything from alternative rock to Javanese gamelan, and explored the works of chamber music enthusiast Igor Stravinsky, and minimalist composers Steve Reich and Arvo Pärt. "When I first heard Reich's 'Music for 18 Musicians,' I was completely blown away," Fontana says. "It was really a life changing moment, and it was then that I knew I would be a composer." Fontana's musical ventures took her to the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, a period Fontana reflects upon as extremely progressive in mastering her craft as a composer. Fontana explains, "Being surrounded by people who had been in conservatories for years was the challenge I needed to take my composition to the next level. It was really an ideal learning environment in that way." After four years of intense instruction and writing purely instrumental music, Fontana entered Yale for graduate studies in composition, but soon began to feel that something was missing in her creative life. With stints writing and recording in New Haven, Brooklyn, and Montreal, she finessed her way back to songwriting and composed her first song since age 13, a soothing, piano-driven ballad entitled "Still." It was the spiritual refresher she was craving. It's here that Fontana finds her artistic solace as she sings, "I'll come in rogue waves / in deepest silence / all I've ever wanted is to break upon your shore / I'm getting closer / closer to where you are." Fontana, who composed, arranged and produced The Inner Revolution, concisely molds an emotional catharsis with a natural blend of classical tinges and alt-rock leanings. From the haunting guitar riffs and layered strings of "Bloom" and the acoustic soundscapes of "Spark the Fire" to the slow-burning cadence of the near-nine minute epic "Always," Fontana brings both creative and spiritual forces together. It's with an easy spirit that The Inner Revolution defines an authentically expressive, minimalist pop-rock sound that's been simmering beneath mainstream rock's genre-blending stratum; the seven-song set is atmospheric, hypnotic and absolutely stunning. Engineer Howie Weinberg (Sonic Youth, Smashing Pumpkins, Modest Mouse) mastered the LP, while Howard Bilerman (The Arcade Fire, Godspeed You Black Emperor!, British Sea Power) mixed the collection. Fontana self-released the album on Spark the Fire Records.
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