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Lebanese-Canadian musician Natalie Chami records music under the moniker TALsounds. Surrounded by an arsenal of synths and electronics, Chami sculpts intimate electro-acoustic sessions that straddle the line between improvised performance and deliberate composition, carried by her affecting vocal performances and gradually accumulating networks of looped synth figures.

'Shift,' Chami’s third LP release, follows 2020’s 'Acquiesce' (NNA Tapes) and 2017’s 'Love Sick' (Ba Da Bing!), and joins a catalog of albums released on cassette by labels including Hausu Mountain, Tabs Out, and Moog’s own in-house imprint. While Chami’s performance tactics and conception of her project continue along the path she laid with her previous works, 'Shift' marks a number of major changes to her practice.

Recorded exclusively with hardware digital and FM synthesizers, the album trades a measure of the warmth of Chami’s trademark analog synth sound for a more willfully crisp, icy tonal palette. Compared to the often dense sessions seen across her catalog in which her loops layer and build into towering climaxes, 'Shift' highlights a more minimalist strain of Chami’s work, shifting the lens closer to the molecules of her synth and vocal performances and allowing each element to breathe in wider spaces within her austere mixes.

Chami made it a point when conceptualizing the album to work on its post-production aspects with women that share her Southwest Asian and North African (SWANA) descent, knowing that such collaborators could best illuminate the spirit of the work and present it in the way she imagined. Oakland-based Afghan-American producer Maryam Qudus mixed the album and added additional subtle production treatments to Chami’s recordings. Brooklyn-based Egyptian audio engineer Heba Kadry brought the album into its final incarnation with her mastering. Chicago-based Palestinian visual artist Mary Hazboun drew the album’s striking cover image. Arab American, Washington DC-based photographer Farrah Skeiky captured Chami’s portraits.

Chami explains that 'Shift' and its stream-of-consciousness vocals derive their energy from the upheavals in her life. She describes a sense of nostalgia upon returning to live in the D.C. area, feeling like she’s eighteen again as she’s bombarded by the memories unlocked by her physical surroundings. 'Shift' captures all of this in its dynamic spread of spontaneous emotional atmospheres, from queasiness to elation to tranquility to confusion. More than overtly trying to symbolize those feelings with specific musical gestures, TALsounds follows her hands and her voice wherever they might lead her, and then remembers the emotional resonance that led her in that direction as she looks over what came out of her. While this process draws her artistic practice and her personal life together into a tight circuit, 'Shift's final presentation leaves room for interpretation. Whatever words reach us, whatever we might know of Chami’s life, the album draws power and beauty from its ambiguity.