Written By: Andrew James
Toronto, Canada’s The Pink Pearl Dragon is the solo project of electronic artist, Rina Rosen. That’s right folks, it’s just a one-woman show; a single mind, free of all the boundaries set in place by proper music education, whose creativity takes the form of a lush, electro indie-pop. She describes her work as “Heart Broken Punk” as well as “Sardonic Pseudo Pop,” and whilst the punk isn’t immediately apparent the richly layered harmonies instantly bring on little knots and butterflies, and maybe even goosebumps on occasion, slightly and gently breaking our hearts.
The Pink Pearl Dragon‘s style of arrangement has a very pretty sound in all areas, from the individual instrument sounds, to the compositionof each part; from the richly-layered vocals, to the lyrics themselves; and even beautiful in the subtle, yet significant presence of reverb, liberally applied throughout. She uses simple, programmed drum beats as the foundation for her tunes, and builds songs upon them, thick with sounds as varied as one might expect her influences to be, including tortured and angry electric guitar sounds, carefully processed keyboard hooks, and several layers of beautifully composed, aria-like vocal parts.
The Pink Pearl Dragon‘s most recent release is titled Lo-Fi Dragon High Electro, and has a kind of consonance that is only possible when a single individual endeavors to make a deeply personal, and equally deeply honest, statement about who they are as an artist. The overall feeling of the album is very intimate, giving an inside look at the solo artist’s mind, and at times has a tendency to evoke a melancholy empathy.
Interestingly enough, Lo-Fi Dragon High Electro opens with a piece titled “A Happy Song” which sounds somewhat like the 80′s on MDMA, combined with a hearty dash of contemporary indie and vocals that feel like a sunny-day view of a majestic mountain range in all its infinite beauty and sadness. The Pink Pearl Dragon‘s ability to compose beautiful harmonies really shines on “Rest Your Head” and “Save My Heart”; both are gorgeous instances where two individually beautiful vocal melodies merge to form a complex harmony, each one playing off of the subtleties of the other in a playful manner. A darker side emerges on “Word” which showcases a sharp change in timbre introducing a coarse, distorted guitar sound, which adds a surprisingly haunting and dark quality to the piece. Lo-Fi Dragon High Electro ends strongly with a piece aptly named “Play Again”, perfectly fusing all the above elements, almost leaving you pining for more and contemplating a replay in the near future, shamlessly leaving the CD in the car stereo for another week or two.
Overall, Lo-Fi Dragon High Electro has a quality that is as richly colored as the magical moments of driving on an empty beachside road at sunrise or sunset, as if she’s attempting to paint a picture for us or perhaps score a scene in a silent film. The Pink Pearl Dragon expertly captures an empathy within the listener that parallels the experience of such gorgeous colors and the sort of emotional content that makes tears slightly sting the eyes as they well up, but feeling relaxed and unburdened all at once.