Her Beautiful Shades Of Gray
Updated: May 15, 2022
Anastasia Minster is a riveting singer-songwriter whose music is akin to laying by the seaside beneath a full moon and pitch-black sky. Sweet peace and lukewarm serenity, you'll fall for it in more ways than one.
It is a Sunday afternoon and I lay staring into the nothingness of the wall a short distance away. My mind drifts away without any sense of direction or destination; we are barely existing - a shell of a person who seemed so much fuller yesterday.
I find the energy to press play.
"I could be a sunken ship; clinging to the ocean floor," a soft, angelic voice chimes.
My eyes widen. I breathe a little deeper. I have discovered the music of Anastasia Minster, a singer-songwriter hailing from Russia, now based in Toronto. "The Ocean Song," the first track from her latest album, "Father" is a hauntingly beautiful, poetic introduction to a musical realm that is brooding and desolate, yet lightly saccharine as a lonesome cello calls out to the heart like a lover's whisper in the night.
I have spent seemingly endless hours seeking this flavor of music; though very often, entries in this subgenre follow a particular formula that becomes contrived and, ultimately, clichéd. Anastasia's gift is in her heartfelt deliverance of darkly lit, smoothly crafted jazz with a neoclassical edge that gives the music a surreal persona reminiscent of David Lynch's cult-classic television series "Twin Peaks." "All that we've dreamt is here; inside the blue infinite mirror." The solemn piano mates with a sorrowful cello - enter "Solaris," the first single from "Father" and an incredibly poignant track. There is something wistful at its core that makes the back of my eyes sting with a longing for something that could have once been but will now never be as the passage of time has extinguished such possibility. A bittersweetness lodges in my neck; I swallow hard as I awaken from my Sunday afternoon lull. I can feel again.
Close your eyes now. Let the outro sweep you aloft into an eternal autumn where whatever story your mind has fashioned is winding down and, despite any misfortunes, a sense of relief washes over you in a strange reassurance that everything will be alright regardless. "Solaris" is simply gripping; a tonal remedy for those moments of tangency that leave you at the mercy of your thoughts born from a pool of dolorous memories.
"Scars over scars; O what a mess we are." And at the end of a turbulent day lies the sentimental "Hour of the Wolf" to pass along some shadowy consolation as the sun sets and night falls. A soft, delicate piece that exudes closure, however somber or serene dependent on the individual's train of thought as they listen to Anastasia's heavenly voice dance across the lugubrious notes of her piano.
Though there is a grief-ridden nature about the song, it is nonetheless a soothing and fitting number for a set of end credits. Subsequent plays reveal deeper meanings to its lyrics which aptly describe just how broken we can be as human beings while preserving a faint glimmer of hope in the possibility that we can heal and become stronger, better people on the other side of adversity.
Anastasia has released two full-length albums and an E.P. - all of which possess enough soul to move even the stoniest of hearts. Her talent by far exceeds the limitations of many more mainstream artists and the prospect of seeing her live on stage one day is something left to be desired.
You won't regret the time you spend with Anastasia and her beautiful shades of gray.
Buy her music at: Bandcamp