The docking point of Sea to Sea is the exuberant video for “Sea of Islands,” in which Sign Libra makes a case for being the most cheerful performer of the year. Her contagious joy lights up the room, and we wonder ~ is this an actual room in an actual house? After a bit of research, we discover that Agata Melnikova lives in a plastic, mushroom-shaped dwelling near the port of Liepāja. In this multi-room building, she is free to dance, sing and wear flowers in her hair, which are delivered daily by water fairies. Her playfully mod clothing is sewn from moon clothes, washed once in each of nine seas. These magical relationships are possible because she in fluent in multiple languages: astronomy, astrology, yodeling and Native American whoop, among others; most importantly, she speaks synth.
Each track on Sea to Sea is inspired by one of the moon’s seas, once upon a time considered to be full; thus the sound of lapping waves on “Sea of Fecundity.” The tone is sprightly, conjuring images of H.G. Wells’ The First Men in the Moon. Perhaps Selenites still live underground, avoiding our cameras. Sci-fi and mod make a lovely couple, and the spirit of the late century is alive and well here. Melnikova’s abundant cheer is a reminder of the pioneering spirit that brought us to the moon in the first place. It’s no surprise to learn that her interrelated interests are the environment and the cosmos; or that Libra’s traits include a love for beauty, peace and harmony. The Latvian performer also teams with New York’s RVNGIntl. label to donate part of the proceeds to Music Fund, “an organization that gives young people living in conflict zones and/or poor regions the chance to practice music in suitable conditions.”
Mid-album, the artist takes off her dancing shoes for a brief foray into ambience. There’s stardust in these notes as she treads the seas of Serenity, Vapours and Nectar. And then the album’s fastest, most danceable track, “Sea of Cleverness,” during which we can picture the artist jumping up and down in low gravity, flying many meters in the air, singing all the way.
On Sea to Sea, the artist operates as lunar priestess, channeling the power of Air (Libra’s element) in its relationship with Water. The two are intertwined, as are time and tide. In like fashion, Melnikova seems at one with the universe and the rhythms of nature. She’s found her path to joy. (Richard Allen)