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Sometimes a musician is actually a multi-disciplinarian who creates music as just one component of their work. Sometimes music is actually multimedia with sound as only one dimension. This is the case for AMAARA, a.k.a. Kaelen Ohm, and her new album, Heartspeak.

Ohm spent part of her childhood in Fernie, BC, surrounded by nature, and has also lived in Calgary and Toronto. Currently, she resides in Los Angeles, where she pursues an acting career, and will have a regular role in the upcoming Netflix series Hit and Run. She is also a filmmaker, and has shot and acted in her own music videos.

Ohm’s singing voice is deeper and more serious than the dreamy images might suggest. Her acting and dancing gives her musical performance an inherent cinematic quality, and Heartspeak has an accompanying video element.

The music is surreal and nuanced. It could be used to meditate to, but would likely draw attention to itself and away from the meditation because of its interesting complexity.

The beginning of the video for “Gone” features Ohm in a pickup truck moving through the desert, which goes quite well with the futuristic, motion-invoking sound of the music. There are beautiful moving-through-desert shots throughout, and Ohm is seen playing guitar and dancing. The end features a strong electronic drumbeat and a beautiful desert horizon with a sunset.

The video for “Awake” shows her riding a train and dancing through a city at sunrise, or in a fog — appropriate for a slow-moving song where the glimmer of sun is complemented by a glimmer of post-punk influence. The vocals for “Desert Storm” almost sound like a chant, and “Lover” has whispers of an old English ballad, all with electronic sound complimenting that which is raw and human. (Lady Moon Records)


1.Desert Storm

4½ stars