Lonelady – Nerve Up (Warp) 22/02/2010

March 2, 2010 by  

Lonelady’s ‘NERVE UP’ is her debut offering with indie label Warp, and to compare her to something of a post-apocalyptic Blondie probably does more of an injustice to post-apocalyptic societies than Debbie Harry herself!

The album shifts between fast tempo sexy indie guitar hooks on tracks such as ‘Intuition,’ which undoubtedly owes something to Martha and the Muffins, and the more downbeat ‘Marble’ which is five minutes of haunting unease and pain-tinged vocals crossing very much into The xx territory. It is Lonelady’s tempo changes and increased intensity that sets her aside from The xx, but that doesn’t mean there is anything upbeat in this record. In other words, if ‘NERVE UP’ is going to set the soundtrack for your summer then you’ve had a pretty rough summer.

Ironically the track ‘Nerve up’ is probably the greatest exception to this rule, with its silky smooth electro rhythms and raspy vocals it is undeniably hot. It is perhaps appealing in the same way that CSS was appealing about three years ago but just nowhere near as annoying. It’s a cracking song and on further listening it becomes increasingly and overwhelmingly seductive.

The track that has been chosen as the first single is ‘Imaterial.’ The intro is brilliant and there are some great guitar hooks circa 1980: ‘Echo Beach’ springs instantly to mind, in the same way Paul Weller reminds you of the Beatles (make of that what you want). However, for what is surely Lonelady’s attempt at breaking into the mainstream it is perhaps a surprising first single choice, as ‘Immaterial’ never fully delivers the promise offered by its brilliant intro. It would certainly struggle to hold the attention of a typical radio one listener, (again, make of that what you want).

2010 could certainly be a big year for Lonelady. She offers a broad appeal to both ends of the ever popular indie-electro spectrum, and the likes of La Roux and The xx have shown that there is a place in the mainstream for her kind of artist. To put it mildly ‘NERVE UP’ is by no means jovial, but there are some great tracks on offer and it is definitely worth listening to.

[rating:3]


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