Indie/alternative/dream-pop singer-songwriter ALNILAM, aka Elena Pinto, introduces her new EP, Under The Sun, a five-track collection of gliding, atmospheric songs.
Years in the making and partially crowdfunded, the EP slowly came together despite the external milieu, including California wildfires, riots, lockdowns, and the pandemic. Some instruments were recorded remotely, including a full orchestra in Macedonia.
A collaboration with Daniel Wright, from the band Song Preservation Society, and lead singer for Radio Skies, Under the Sun features several of the same studio musicians as ALNILAM’s first album, Indigo Sky – Marcus Kincy on keyboards, and Sandro Morales Santoro‘s string arrangements performed by a full orchestra. Under The Sun was produced by Manu Jimenez and mastered by Eric Boulanger.
Soon after laying down the vocal tracks, ALNILAM moved to a small surfing town in Costa Rica, where she is developing a permaculture farm.
While growing up in Costa Rica, Elena sang most of the time, memorized songs, and imagined writing her own lyrics and music. After studying art in Colorado and New York, she worked as an artist and muralist in NYC and Connecticut. In 2011, after two major losses weeks before moving to California, and inspired by David Bowie, she decided it was time to write a few songs.
Alnilam is the massive, supergiant star in the center. Hundreds of thousands of times brighter than our Sun, it is about 40 times bigger.
Under The Sun begins with “Moonlight,” traveling on sweeping strings, a plump bassline, and gentle percussion. Vaguely reminiscent of Simon & Garfunkel crossed with Joni Mitchell, the song flows on diaphanous tendrils of sound as Elena’s deliciously evocative voice imbues the lyrics with delicate grace.
Highlights on the EP include the title track, at once glowing and glimmering with indulgent, silky washes of color. Elena’s dreamy vocals infuse the lyrics with entrancing timbres, subtle and nuanced, under exquisite lilting control. As the song culminates, luscious layers of vocal harmonies provide marvelous ozone-like mists.
“Sleeper” rides darker tones and potent percussion topped by Elena’s smoldering voice, which then shifts to lush suffusions of wistful tones. “Sleeper” is, perhaps, the best track on the EP because of its shadowy essence.
ALNILAM has it going on! Under The Sun is a gorgeously wrought EP, dripping with creamy, flowing harmonics and the expressive voice of Elena Pinto.