Over the last few years, Brooklyn-based, Maine-raised Aly Spaltro has been stunning audiences and carving her niche with her unique brand of unabashed, fearlessly creative indie folk under the name Lady Lamb The Beekeeper. She’s shortened that name to just Lady Lamb and on Tuesday, March 3, she unleashes After, an album that will surely generate a lot buzz around the 25-year old songwriter.
From the onset, After is a force. The opening track, “Vena Cava” starts out almost innocently with just Spaltro singing over guitar before she kicks it into gear with just the right amount of fuzz. It’s the perfect lead in to “Billions of Eyes”, the lead single from this record. “Billions of Eyes” is Lady Lamb’s songwriting at its finest, her imagery and storytelling are what makes her music so charming, singing about human relationships, almost missing trains, and falling into warm laundry.
The next track, “Violet Clementine”, is a whirlwind of sorts. It starts out with just Spaltro singing, with more instruments and vocalists coming in, then almost completely breaking down into one epic ending. It’s one hell of a ride packed into a five-minute track. “Heretic” is another showcase of Lady Lamb’s storytelling, about Galileo and UFOs. It’s an awesome rocker with a stumbling drumbeat.
“Sunday Shoes” is a big change in feeling for the record. It’s a song about death, and full of imagery and some of the most heart wrenching lines on After. Meanwhile on “Spat Out Spit”, Lady Lamb tackles existence, and the song include a Jeff Mangum-esque line – “How strange we all are”. The imagery here is Lady Lamb at her best, comparing our insides to watermelons and the solar system.
Long time fans of Lady Lamb may recognize “Penny Licks”, an older track that was on one of her earlier records, Mammoth Swoon. Some jangly guitar, a rumbling bass line give it new life on After. “Milk Duds” is one of those songs that exemplifies everything Lady Lamb is, singing about being in love, eating some candy and falling asleep. It’s another older track that’s finally reached its potential on After.
“Dear Arkansas Daughter” is a heart-wrencher of a rocker. It has a chord progression that kicks a whole lot of butt while Spaltro sings “as my love for you dies, as my love for you is steadily dying”. “Ten” is a stripped down track that’s mostly just Lady Lamb singing over a little guitar about childhood memories and youth. Lady Lamb goes punk rock on us with “Batter”, with a driving bass line. It’s an awesome turn for the singer-songwriter. The album draws to a close with the stunning “Atlas”, which has some beautiful strings that almost drown out Spaltro as the song reaches its end. It’s a beautiful ending to a fantastic record.
Lady Lamb’s approach to music is what draws so many people to it. And while she recorded After at Let Em In Studios in Brooklyn, these songs still have the heart of the Lady Lamb that recorded well into the early hours of the morning in the DVD store she worked at. It’s incredible to see how far she has come and with her ability to innovate and challenge herself, there’s no limit to what she can do.
(Featured photo by Shervin Lainez)
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