Ana Marina took to the Spring Hill Reservoir to launch her debut album ‘Haunted' last night (19 May).
The perfect place to showcase her talent, lights illuminate the space, bright on the stage and shadowy along the walls. A red carpet lines the walkway and the air is cool and peppered with perfume. The atmosphere is relaxed, comfortable, and intimate as the audience take their seats. The stage is small, but feels larger in the hollow underground space. To the left sits a decorative wooden chair with a violin propped against it, to the right is another holding up a double bass. In front of the chairs are two music stands, and behind them is a small table with a laptop open in preparation, which seems both oddly out of and in place in the archaic gothic atmosphere.
The band appear from the shadows, and Ana Marina follows, stepping into the light. Gorgeously draped in dark blue, cleverly illuminated by the blue lights from above. A glorious wave of serenity fills the chamber as she begins. She is confident and collected, the audience is captivated, with some leaning closer. Her voice and mannerisms are theatrical; goosebumps settle on the skin. Her singing feels very rehearsed and could have been more casual, as she occasionally looks woefully into the audience or to an unknown corner towards a roof. She spends a little too much time describing each song, and it seems she could benefit by showing, not telling. She admits her nerves, and it shows.
‘In My Dreams’ was fantastic and triumphant, and would have been better as the opening number. She’d previously described her voice as many different artists, and here she sounds like Amy Lee from Evanescence. The song would have more impact if she’d sung at a lower octave, as it didn’t pack quite as much emotion as it deserved, but there are no faults with her voice – she’s clearly a remarkably talented superstar.
‘Into A Flame’ is very James Bond-inspired, and it’s so interesting to hear such a variety of songs during the performance. Ana's voice is low and glorious, and it’s clear she’s very talented singing at a lower octave; it also allows her to connect more with the audience, sending shivers down spines.
When Ana sings the title track, ‘Haunted’ – a song about life and death – the song feels familiar, and almost reminiscent of ‘Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again’ from 'Phantom Of The Opera'. She loses her composure slightly, due to the personal nature of the song, but it’s refreshing as she breaks the semi-rehearsed introductions. Her voice fills the chamber, and it’s very clear why she chose the Reservoir to perform, as she makes great use of her vocal ability within the underground space.
A short interlude has the Producer talk about the importance of songwriting, and then it’s back to debuting more of her original songs. While her original songs are good and she takes pride in her songwriting ability, her technique clearly soars with her more practiced songs. When Ana sings ‘Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again’ it is a fantastic surprise, and feels just right, especially when contrasted against ‘Haunted'. The two songs are definitely the highlight of the night, and sound absolutely spectacular, especially with the blue light and the gothic vibe of the set. It definitely brings the audience to the cemetery in ‘Phantom’ and takes them on a journey as Ana seamlessly transforms into Christine. A triumphant ending to a fabulous night.