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Album Review: Ofeliadorme, Secret Fires

Ofeliadorme 2_WEB_credit RobertaSardi
Image: Robert Sardi

In 2007, a new Italian indie rock/dream pop band was born and it was given a very beautiful name inspired by the tragic story of Shakespeare’s Ophelia – Ofeliadorme. Fun fact about this name is that Ofeliadorme translates to ‘Ophelia sleeps’. That’s what Francesca Bono – the vocalist and guitarist of the band – said in an interview where she also explained that they chose this name to ‘preserve Ophelia from dying’. Ten years later, the band, consisting now of three members, are still making music and they released on March 17th their third full-length album called ‘Secret Fires’.

The second time I listened to the entire album I concluded that the songs would be perfect for a movie soundtrack. To be more precise, I’d say it would be perfect for a movie which takes place in space because that’s exactly where this album is taking you. Or, at least, that’s where it took me. Every time I listen to it, I think of an intergalactic travel, floating in space, surrounded by stars, planets and endless calm. The abstract sounds that are present in the background of each song give the album a minimalistic edge. The voice of the vocalist fits very well in this context. It’s alluring, enchanting, mesmerising. So, you see, I think the whole album is a peaceful, dreamy experience.

Before the release of the whole album, Ofeliadorme came out with the music video for the first track on the album – ‘Alone with the stars’. I think the climax of this song is amazing. The song starts on a very calm note and continues like this until the bridge comes and then it’s like a beautiful explosion. The best comparison I could think of is skydiving. When you’re on the plane getting ready. Waiting. Maybe you’re anxious for what’s to come but nonetheless excited. You stand up and go to the open door and the wind hits your face. You’re staring down and see the earth which is far far below. Your heart beats very fast now. And then the climax comes: you jump. And you’re flying. And you’re free.

I won’t discuss every song in detail because I think the album has an overall constant pace which adds to the peaceful vibe that I mentioned earlier. There are eight songs in total on the track list and besides the first one that I talked about, the other two that stood out to me were the second one, ‘Body Prayer’, and the last one, ‘Hair Brushing’. At first, I wanted to say that ‘Body Prayer’ is my favourite because I think it’s the most upbeat out of all. However, on the third or fourth listen, ‘Hair Brushing’ got the first place. It’s for sure the darkest and the most mysterious one on the track list.

I think the name of the album is very suitable. All the songs have a mysterious edge that inspires the secret fires – the dormant fires inside of us. Those fires that are hidden but waiting to burst. It’s poetic in a way, which is no surprise since their lyrics are influenced by literature, as the member of the band stated.

On an ending note, I think the album is very easy to listen to and it’s worth a try, even for those who are not into this type of music.