Maria Minerva’s Will Happiness Find Me? is a dream-pop opus that has one foot in future-bass music’s aquatic dubbiness, the other in ambient’s haziness. The music made by Minerva (New York via Estonia producer Maria Juur) resembles that of understated diva/knob-twiddlers like Cooly G, Ikonika, and Leila in that it’s marked by an otherworldly sonic beauty, poetic lyrics (“It’s so strange to see myself coming of age/the trees in my garden are my growing/the garden is my mind”), and an overall feeling of oceanic dispersion.
It’s not easy to determine what track is Will Happiness Find Me?’s peak, but right now I have to go with “Never Give Up.” For a song with such a tenacious title, it’s very much horizontally inclined, a paradisal, woozy slice of lover’s dub. Near the four-minute mark, Minerva’s voice slowly freefalls into a pool of sweet reverberation; shortly thereafter, the track goes on a gorgeous side trip that sounds like Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval sighing over hypnagogic synth snarls and a daintily plucked koto (I think), as Minerva launches into the mantra, “I’m born again, I’m born again, I’m born again (again and again).” I love when a song starts out great, then goes off on a 90º tangent and gets even better.
Not Not Fun Records released Will Happiness Find Me? on Sept. 4. Minerva performs at Decibel Festival Thurs. Sept. 27 at Triple Door.