Back in 2009, a songstress emerged and elated music lovers with Archaeologist, a folk masterpiece full of tension and stunning orchestration. Ami Saraiya has a voice that portrays struggle, beauty, strangeness and strength all at once. Now in 2012, yet another unexpected pleasure has arrived from Ami Saraiya & The Outcome. This release is an assortment of vintage circus-like tunes accompanied by gritty yet vulnerable vocals. The band is compiled of instruments such as the kazoo, glockenspiel, and a mandolin. Her band—featuring Ronnie Kuller, Shirley Rogiers, Courtney Glascoe, Marc Piane, Gary Kalar and Ben Gray—fill the album with inventive musical arrangements. Ami also plays the accordion, which adds to an “in the ring” feel on tracks such as “I’m Pregnant,” and “Cattleprod Hands.”

The opener, “I’m Pregnant” begins with a strong string section, and bursts into maudlin words of strife. With its dark and somewhat haunting lyrics, it may throw off a newcomer. Instead of continuing with the strange and unknown, she incorporates happiness through her high-noted backing vocals, grabbing the audience back with some degree of normalcy. The theme of darkness flows into “Purging” by hinting to the depths of hell on this devilish tune.

Some songs to repeat are “Marma,” “Purging” and “Type Of Girl.” These three are full of passionate vocal harmonies with strong, memorable lyrics.

“Glass Full Of Blue,” the closing track, is a lullaby of pain. Ami invites the darkness in, and embraces its power as she sings of life’s uncertainties and sadness. Saraiya wastes no time complaining, and instead takes her hurt at face value.

While each song has a different story, the album as a whole is extremely cohesive. The thread throughout, darkness, is lingering yet non-threatening. It’s a type of storm that hovers but delivers no harm, which makes Soundproof Box extremely likeable and vibrant.

In A Word: Vintage

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