Sunday, May 16, 2021

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Sound Notes

Bat For Lashes




“The Bride”

The Echo Label


Prep Iowa

As a story, “The Bride” follows a standard narrative arc: girl meets boy, boy leaves girl, girl embarks upon a journey of existentialist self-reflection and all-consuming metaphysical sorrow, girl meets new boy. Bat For Lashes-2It’s a tale that’s as old as time. And while it might be true that singer/songwriter Natasha Khan telegraphs her biggest punches right in the opening song, the way in which she presents her vignettes of love and loss prevent any of it from feeling unsurprising. This is in large part because Khan is so good at what she does, which is swimming in the languid waters of dream pop without sounding like a navel gazing fool. “The Bride” is emotionally wrenching, achingly beautiful and finely produced. It works well both as an album to sit quietly and to deeply consider as background music while you wash the dishes. Nothing is lost in the superficial enjoyment of the work, while those who take the effort to absorb and ponder the lyrics will find themselves amply rewarded. CV


case/ lang/ viers




Nowadays it seems like anytime three or more people with any kind of name recognition get together and jam, someone will deign to call it a “supergroup.” Case lang veirsSo while the designation has lost a certain amount of its cache in recent years, there is little denying that this matching of Neko Case, k.d. lang and and Laura Viers qualifies in every definition of the word. These women have all turned out some of the highest quality music of the past 30 years on their own, and this resulting collaboration might be as close to a perfect marriage of their talents as anyone had the right to hope for. To understand how good this album is, one need listen no further than opening track, “Atomic Number,” and hear these three immaculate voices convening for some of the tightest harmonies of the decade. Despite not being on my radar before it dropped, this album might just be my favorite release of the year. CV


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