Chattanooga artist Destiny Sanchez (who performs as Destiny Surreal) doesn’t follow any specific artistic muse—the ebb and flow of life and experience provide a natural rhythm to her work, whether it be music, the visual arts, makeup creations or some other creative amalgam. And in her music, where the tangled blues, soul, rock and classic R&B sounds that flow so effortlessly through her fingers and voice are let loose, she reveals an innate ability to channel those influences through a dazzling display of rhythmic intuition.
Her music isn’t tied to any preconceived notion of genre; she opts for something far more impressionistic, a broad range of landscapes and melodic arrangements. This sound could easily feel disjointed in someone else’s hands, but she expertly crafts it to harness the inherent force of each musical history involved. And above it all, her voice hovers like a guiding spirit, an involved presence that doesn’t hurry you along but allows you to find your own way through the music.
On her debut record, “Spiritual Journey,” she finds balance within a complex wash of musical inspiration, with sounds popping up and shuffling through a song or two before disappearing into her peripheral vision. Opening with the bluesy, bass-driven “The Soul,” she quickly sets the unraveling pace and rhythmic expansiveness in which we’re shortly going to become lost. Other tracks, such as the Eastern music-tinged “Rage” and the acoustic folk of “Underwater,” show that she’s determined not to rest in one place for very long, creating a multijointed musical perspective that plays to her strengths as a songwriter.
According to Sanchez, these songs come from “the pages in a personal journal, expressing young heartaches … falling in love, family problems, spiritual encounters … not fitting in [and] … feeling good in your skin.” And you can hear the intimacy and complicated musical methodology in every verse and chorus, bound together in a swirling mass of disparate sounds that instantly cohere in her dexterous hands. For a debut album, “Spiritual Journey” is remarkably assured and unassuming in its theatricality, choosing to initiate a unique relationship with its listeners that will leave you feeling mesmerized and wanting more.
Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.