Sometimes it’s easy to tell that a musician came to songwriting in her own untrained and instinctive way. That’s how it is with Lady Lamb, formerly Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, born Aly Spaltro in Maine. Many of her songs have clearly divided parts, often sounding terrifically different from each other. Take Heretic, with its shoegazey intro bars, minimal verses and lush jangle pop choruses, all with lyrics about black holes and TV sets. The songs follow Spaltro’s myriad whims, adding up to a seriously interesting listen.
Her lilting voice has both delicacy and heft, and the album’s overall vibe is fun – there’s a song called Milk Duds – and intelligent. (Hey, man, the two can coexist.) She mellows out on the solemn, folky ballad Sunday Shoes, which is overly long but by its end reveals a rough, tired quality in her voice that’s worth waiting for. She experiments with production styles, like going for lo-fi moments that give the invigorating big choruses even more impact. All in all, a unique and satisfying effort.
Top track: Violet Clementine
Lady Lamb plays the Garrison on Saturday (May 9) as part of CMW.