September 6, 2019 Lindsey Stirling – Artemis (Album Review)
Magical, mystical, a storyteller who works in sounds, acclaimed Violinist Lindsey Stirling is set to release her inner-goddess, Artemis, on Friday, September 6th, 2019, via Lindseystomp Records/BMG.
She’s single-handedly made the violin edgy and fresh with her juxtaposition of Neo Classical and EDM, creating something that wholly embraces the infectiousness of Pop. Crafting your own unique niche is a big risk, but it has certainly paid off for Arizona’s Stirling, a platinum-selling musician, singer-songwriter, dancer, and author who has taken the music industry by storm. With nearly 11.5 million YouTube subscribers, over 2.5 billion views on her YouTube channel alone, 2 Billboard Music Awards, Billboard chart-topping hits and sold out tours worldwide, she has more than earned a place for herself in Pop culture.
For her fifth studio offering—provided you include 2017’s Holiday spectacle Warmer in the Winter in your count—Stirling turns toward Greek mythology for inspiration. Artemis, named for the Greek goddess of the moon and the hunt, sees the artist authoring a journey of tragedy and triumph. Each song on the album sonically represents the upward struggle that Artemis, the hero of our journey, takes to find the light within. After a period of darkness and struggle, she is transformed and eventually able to find the upside of down; illuminating the fact that we can all fight back and persevere.
Artemis opens to Stirling’s beautifully weeping violin on “Underground,” an emotional tragedy that builds in determination to embrace entrancing, danceable beats that are punctuated by the violinist’s exceptional skills. In fact, for anyone who has somehow not experienced a Stirling track to date, this is the perfect representation of her unique finesse in pairing Neo Classical violin performance with hip, modern beats to craft cross-genre, undeniable infectiousness.
Continuing strong, album namesake “Artemis” presents an even more seductive allure, introducing the heroine of our story while weaving a fairy spell that entices you out onto the dance-floor. Clearly, this is another specialty of Stirling’s, as she has been referred to, quite aptly, as a “rave fairy.” Without a doubt, if fairies are real, they worship Stirling as one of their own!
Next, dark layers undulate in “Til the Light Goes Out,” introducing the struggles inherent in the murky depths of life. To contrast this, “Between Twilight” twinkles and sparkles on the horizon—a fluttering dance of hope, the promise of a new beginning. Similarly, angelic vocals introduce the infectious prance of “Foreverglow,” a look at immortality which segues flawlessly into “Love Goes On and On.” Featuring Evanescence’s Amy Lee, here the two exceptionally talented ladies complement one another marvelously as they create an alluring, soaring fairy-tale in the name of eternal love.
To recover from this powerful moment, Stirling amps the pace for the majestic, swirling skirts of “Masquerade,” before lush atmospherics build a wall of sound that tickles all the senses on the ASMR-inducing EDM of “Sleepwalking.” Awakening in a haze, “Darkside” marches through shadowy hills and valleys of sound, building into beautifully catchy, violin-led choruses that pave the way for “The Upside,” a lofty positivity that has arisen from our previous journey through shadowy lands.
With the sunshine kissing our ears once again, “Guardian” provides a strong promise, a comforting embrace that increases into the giddy march of the graceful, flitting “Aurora.” Ultimately, Stirling ends with an alternate version of the uplifting “The Upside,” featuring sassy songstress Elle King on vocals. Injecting even more energy into the frenetic dancer, this ends the collection with an appropriate amount of glittering hope and sonic oomph.
Preternaturally talented, a poet who delivers her sonnets via violin strings, Stirling invites her listeners to sleepwalk through a fairy-tale dream on Artemis. But the stories that dot these pages are not her own, instead they lie in wait inside each of her fans’ hearts. Like this, Stirling casts her spells as a summoner who brings forth each of our own personal tales, whispering of struggle and hope, and promising triumph from tragedy. Uniquely infectious, beautifully inspiring, Artemis will ignite your inner-goddess. For this, Cryptic Rock give Lindsey Stirling’s Artemis 5 of 5 stars.