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Elena Shirin (Aramboa) at The Mousetrap Indianapolis, IN – Review

Before I heard Elena Shirin perform, I knew I was going to love her music. Elena and her band Aramboa are from Vienna, Austria and are supporting Moon Hooch on their Rebirth tour. I met Elena at the bar in line for coffee. I didn’t know until I got to the venue that there were any other bands on the bill, and I was inspired when I learned that one of them was a solo woman. Elena shared with me that people in Vienna are so into coffee it’s almost political. They argue about the difference between cappuccino and melange, when there really isn’t much difference. The people in Vienna are also very picky about their coffee. She said, “They’d kill me if they knew I put honey in my coffee!” We enjoyed our impending caffeine buzz and chatted like old friends.

There’s an air of comfort, freedom, and support that emanates from Elena and for a few minutes I forgot she’s essentially a stranger. We talked about an array of things in a short period of time but the conversation never strayed too far from music and I was able to learn a bit about the performance I was about to experience. Elena plays keyboard and sings solo versions of Aramboa songs with backing tracks she created specifically for this tour. She built her tracks and set list to complement the sound and crowd of a typical Moon Hooch show. Her band mates could not join her for the whole tour, but will be performing in the US when the tour reaches California.

When Elena took the stage the space was instantly filled with her energy. The music exactly suited the impressions I got from our discussion over coffee. The music is Elena’s energy in the form of sound. Aramboa can’t be described in one word. Words won’t suffice because this music is just as much felt as heard. The music is a beautiful ethereal mixture of electronic and organic sounds combining elements of trance, soul, trip hop, and jazz. Elena’s voice is versatile; capable of low sultry tones, and enchanting flowing melodies. There is an approachable intensity in her performance style which has the ability to draw in an audience and have them anticipating the next phrase. The crowd was nearly silent listening to her set. We were mesmerized in a most beautiful way. At the end of one of the songs there was a noticeable pause before applause. The audience was awestruck.

There was no Aramboa merch at this show, but thankfully their music can be found on youtube, and for purchase on popular download sites. I recommend The Feather EP.

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