Lala Lala

The Lamb

Hardly Art

Sep 28, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


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Grief, paranoia, and sobriety. These are states of mind in which our faith in humanity dissipates. That's exactly the case for Lillie West's Hardly Art debut, The Lamb. West, a Chicago-based songwriter and a driving force behind the current DIY scene within Chicago, experienced all three of these since her 2016 debut, Sleepyhead, in which she emerged as Lala Lalathe death of a friend, a home invasion, and a personal struggle with addiction. These factors bleed into The Lamb, perhaps one of this year's finest indie rock records to come out of Chicago, if not the country.

Whereas Sleepyhead was relative to a scrapbook of ideas, loosely connected and quite sporadic, the arrangements that accompany The Lamb are much cleaner, sparser, less predictable. West's drawl sucks the fun out of every playful moment of The Lamband it's meant to do exactly that. Aside from the monstrous hook of their first single, "Destroyer," The Lamb is more or less a reflection of meditative isolation. Likewise, The Lamb cloaks itself in a sobering, stable minded, eloquently thought out state of realism. West's lyrics read like observational prose, her melodies hashed out and clearly defined.

These observations West makes are completely empirical, and her experiences and suffering are felt through every second of The Lamb. West took a worn, archetypal blueprint of a "rock" record and flipped it on its head, balancing something that often teeters between electro-pop and raw, straightforward guitar rock. The Lamb's closer, "See You at Home," even features a subtle saxophone arrangement, its inevitable fadeout feeling more like a triumph than any sort of loss.

What stands out most about The Lamb isn't necessarily the back-story, though. It's the humanity, the realismthe inevitable truth that we are more alone than we think we are. West speaks of experiences that we all have felt, or at least will eventually deal with at some point in our life. And though working through these issues may feel like a breath of fresh air, a glimpse of much needed solace, West still maintains a sort of pessimistic attitude, and on "Dove," West speaks a truth that we all have felt at some point in our existence: "I did the right thing, and for what?" (www.lalabandlala.com)

Author rating: 8.5/10

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Steven
September 28th 2018
4:53pm

Strongbow write very good article. I go listen to album now.3

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September 30th 2018
9:58pm

great sounds.