Review: Elaine Lachica – I Think I Can See The Ocean

New York-based Elaine Lachica is an idiosyncratic singer songwriter whose propensity to sound unique can lead to conclusions that are just as likely to frustrate as they are to enrapture. Four years on from her previous record, album number three arrives backed by a new label.

As it happens, Lachica couldn’t have started her third album any better. ‘Behind My Mind’ rides along a rolling piano motif whose attractive twists and turns are matched by Lachica’s own ululations. ‘Tumbleweed’ signals a jazzier approach but is still catchy enough to ensnare curious ears whist ‘Bewilder’ and ‘Capture’ both echo the elegance of mid-period Cocteau Twins from the dreamy atmospherics to Lachica’s murmuring. An excellent and varied beginning to the record is rounded off by the aggressive post-punk guitars on ‘Jinx The Line’.

Yet as on previous albums, Lachica is prone to meandering through watery insubstantial tracks like ‘April Train’ and ‘Wild Wielding’ features Mariah Carey levels of emoting. Pleasingly, she recovers form towards the end of the record and ‘Hold On Fire’ has a fine melody that is somewhat overshadowed by ‘Collective Myth’; the moment where her melancholic side is given perfect backing by a subtle string section.

As with previous albums, ‘I Think I Can See The Ocean’ is not without its flaws yet it’s also Lachica’s best record thanks to a stronger focus on songs rather than mood. Perhaps now is the time for her to emerge from cult concern to an artist with a much broader appeal.

Web Sites:
Elaine Lachica Official Site
Elaine Lachica MySpace

Further Listening:
Cocteau Twins, Kate Bush


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