Yours Truly, formed from the defunct Albatross Party, is set to release the new album Holophrase. The seven-track record starts deep, with the slow and aching song “Math.” Here, Tiziana Severse’s rich and emotive vocal gets the spotlight with delicate piano to add color. “One plus one will always equal two,” she sings. “It’s a fact.”
But the final strains of that song give way to the kick and thrust of “Go Get It,” a textural synth-pop offering that leads with dynamic percussion (Greg Latham). If the first song is introspective, this is an extrovert’s moment of fame. The noir-ish tinge to the effervescent melody hints at The Cranberries, but the song feels more modern than early-90s throwback.
“You Wanna Know” keeps up the intensity but slows the cadence. The effect — thanks to darkly growling synthesizers (T.J. Mills) — is stylized and spooky, but also romantic. It’s Mills who’s credited, on the band’s Facebook page, with bringing the trio’s sound to life, though the music is built around Severse’s voice. And the compositions are always aware of that focal point — swelling and building but never drowning out the front-and-center lyrics.
The pressurized “I’m ready,” with its insistent baseline and drumbeat, signals its danceable intensity from the first notes. Severse’s voice rises through the thrum and the spare, cool melody like a bird on an updraft. Her delivery is unflappable, yet it conveys the feeling behind the words and sound. “I believe you believe, but something in my soul grows restless,” she sings. Invocations of snowy mountaintops are almost superfluous as the song itself is so chill and soaring — but the imagery fits and adds cinematic flair.
Final track “Niagara” summons the thought of the great waterfall, but its opening is tender. “You’re still beautiful,” Severse sings as the music builds from something tentative to a driving rush of sentiment and determination. This could be a ballad, it could also be a battle cry. That juxtaposition of fierceness and tenderness is what makes Yours Truly so compelling.
The band holds an album release party at The Mothlight on Saturday, Jan. 7, 9 p.m. Guests include Meg Mulhearn and David Lynch, Volt Per Octaves and Vietnam Jerry.