Every time I listen to Surfacing, I fall for Faith Coloccia’s voice that little bit more. Those melodies aren’t as simple as they first seem. She wields gravity and balance to carry one note into the next, riding vocal swoops into updrafts of momentum and holding tones for as long as earthly forces will permit. As such, there is an effortless quality to the way she rises and falls. Swinging like a gold pendant in the wind, rolling like a stick carried by river current. I hear the exhalation of breath wash over each note, and I imagine her shoulders slumping peacefully as the melody sends tension and anxiety out into the air in front of her. Sometimes her voice splits into separate streams on either side, chauffeuring her sentiments within vowels that obediently run in parallel.
The only other entity here is the piano. Her playing is simple – cradle-rocks of two notes, low chords fed through pieces of old tape – and the songs harbour the graceful intimacy of songs that I’ve known for years; songs that have haunted the perimeters of my life, ushered quietly into the back of my head by my subconscious; songs that allude toward my moments of utmost privacy and vulnerability. Sometimes they tilt into sadness, but it’s a sadness of process – an acceptance of the fact to cleanse is also to confront, and that darkness can only truly depart through the surface of the skin. The fact that the record is only 17-minutes long feels integral to this. Māra is present for as long as it takes to stir the necessary emotional forces into being, before drifting, in a poignant diagonal, out of my mind and into the sky.