Lou is an artist in Santa Cruz, California from recently released her debut album entitled The Dollhouse Tape. The album takes on the deep and delicate subject matter of sexual assault and a survivor's relationship with love and sex thereafter.
The music I felt was a beautiful balance of pop and experimental tendencies. I was reminded of artists as far ranging as Bjork, Zola Jesus, Lady Gaga and FKA Twigs. The album starts with an “Intro” and as soon as I heard it I had a feeling I was going to really enjoy this album. “Intro” melds pads and sounds of waves which doesn't sound as new age inspired as that might sound. It’s a lush arrangement of sound but it’s the vocals that stand out in the mix which are dynamic, beautiful and powerful.
The album picks up with energy on “Braided & Buttoned (feat. Steven Gomes.” This is where she introduces a more soulful vocal style and at times is on the verge of rapping. The transition in style is seamless as it dances upon the inventive percussion. Gomes’ vocals sound great. The most impressive thing about the song is it feels contemporary from the production to the genre bending style.
“Rescue” is another wonderful track that shines with inventive production and infectious melodies. A dark sub bass line has a symbiotic relationship with electronic percussion and even the delayed vocals.
“Lie Around” is a slow moving yet emotionally powerful song. Her vocals are again top notch and the inventive use of white noise and song structure is competitive with notable producers. I was continually impressed that each track such as “Wait Any” and vertigo inducing “In the Dark” was able to bring something to new to her arsenal of sounds.
In another slight turn “Insomniac Girl” takes a more organic approach to the instrumentation while “Animal” slays with electronic sound not unlike Boards of Canada. The “Outro” makes it way back around to the “Intro.”
The Dollhouse Tape is an absolute gem of an album that needs a lot more ears on it. Highly recommended.
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