A hot summer’s day with a refreshing cool breeze is exactly what listening to Alice Ivy’s debut album I’m Dreaming feels like. I’m Dreaming is a complete artistic adventure from start to finish – with constant sonic references to the reverberations of past and present.

Alice Ivy, AKA Annika Schmarsel has spent a hefty portion of her life playing and studying music, which has been made apparent through the polyphonic explorations of I’m Dreaming.

Schmarsel’s relationship with music has progressed overtime – starting out as a guitar player in soul bands, she eventually adapted to her own home studio – taking on the role of producer, composer, writer and singer. Schmarsel has left nothing to chance on her debut record. Her past playing experiences have no doubt aided in creating the depth and fusion of her debut album.

Although clearly capable of crafting an entire album alone from start to finish – Shmarsel chose to collaborate with artists of whom she holds in high esteem.

Each track builds eloquently. Touch (feat. Georgia van Etten) leaves the listener in a dream-like state – conjuring up a feeling not dissimilar to lying on the grass on your back, gazing at the starry-eyed night. If upbeat electronic shoegaze or perhaps nu-gaze was a wider, more pop-centered genre, Touch would fall within its parameters.

Bella is a swooning, sultry build-up of soul and funk which finds itself sonically akin to J Dilla and Anderson Paak. The previously released, Be Friends (feat. Cazeaux O.S.L.O. & Tim De Cotta), brings to mind preceding releases from The Avalanches. Such artists have likely been influences, but lack a secret ingredient – the flavour of Alice Ivy.

While some tracks on the album share sonic similarities with tracks that have come before, Schmarsel manages to blend contemporary sounds with those of years ago. This results in each track being unique and distinct, thus becoming immediately recognisable as a release from Alice Ivy.

It is impossible to define this album within the parameters of genre, so I won’t. But if I could summarise it in three words; sun-soaked soul. Each track is a unique blend of the artists and genres that have influenced Schmarsel overtime, but when the album is listened to in full – the complete experience is attained.

The body of artistic endeavor, I’m Dreaming, truly speaks for itself. It is easy to be taken away into a tranquil state of mind when listening to this record. I’m Dreaming, encompasses all of the sonic experiences that fell upon Alice Ivy in the past two years. The album as a whole washes over the listener like a gentle sea breeze.

4/5

Released: 9 February 9, 2018 via Dew Process/Universal Music Australia