As listeners of new progressive pop, we were eagerly awaiting the release of Marsha Swanson’s latest album, ‘Near Life Experience’, and let us tell you, it did not disappoint. From the moment the play button is pressed, you will be whisked away on a journey through soul-stirring melodies and profound storytelling, reminiscent of the greats like Kate Bush and Carole King.
The album cover, a visual marvel crafted by the legendary Storm Studios, immediately drew us in with its depth and intricacy, perfectly reflecting the rich music awaiting within the tracks. The collaboration with Storm Studios, known for their iconic creations for artists such as Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, only heightened my anticipation for what lay ahead.
With production from acclaimed producers like Iestyn Polson and Henry (King Thumb) Thomas, it’s no wonder the soundscapes on ‘Near Life Experience’ are impressive. Each track lays itself out with pure emotion and meaning with masterful precision. Also, from the opening track, ‘Facing Life’, to the instrumental bookends ‘Waltz for Life’ and ‘In Touch’, Marsha takes us through the highs and lows of life, exploring themes of love, loss, and resilience along the way. Each track offers something unique, whether it’s the poignant reflection on motherhood in ‘Facing Life’ or the exploration of enduring love in ‘Still Remember’.
One of the standout tracks for us was the final delivery, “In Touch”. At first glance, it seemed to be a rather long song sitting at around 11 minutes and 33 seconds in length. However, while listening it become apparent that Marsha had provided us with a hidden surprise with a secret song emerging midway through!