For her third album, “Vessel,” singer-songwriter Lucia Lilikoi immerses herself in music inspired by the sea, creating a concept album of sensual songs and soundscapes that explore our relationship to water.

The Spanish-born multi-instrumentalist lends her breathy vocals to daring songs that blend poetry, pop, jazz and ambient sounds, an intoxicating combination. In her startlingly beautiful lyrics she is not confined by the strict limits of rhyme.

In the song “Boats,” for example, she sings, “It’s cloudy and calm here/Half of dream and half reality defines the sails/Above the surf/Above the waves.”

Lilikoi studied at the Madrid Conservatory in her native Spain, took jazz and composition classes at the Berklee College of Music and studied vocal improvisation under jazz and a cappella singer Rhiannon.

For this ambitious and adventurous album, Lilikoi has assembled an ensemble that includes Joey Maramba on bowed electric bass, Dan Brantigan on horns, bassist Jason Carr, drummer Sean Nelson and guitarist Ted Savarese.

Lilikoi describes “Vessel” as “a heroine’s journey across the ocean.” She has created a record that challenges listeners to open themselves up to songs and sounds that are dreamy and different, to go on the voyage with her. It’s a trip worth taking.

~Paul Liberatore

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