Spectrum Culture music reviews: Laura Gibson’s “La Grande,” rediscover of Lia Ices’ “Grown Unknown”

Two reviews, four vids. Haunted-voiced female singer-songwriters. A good day for everybody involved.

First, Laura Gibson’s new album, the spectral “La Grande”:

Due to enlistment of percussionists Matthew Rubin Berger and Rachel Blumberg as well as appearances from Calexico’s Joey Burns and the Decemberists’ Jenny Conlee, La Grande is a decidedly dissimilar creature from Gibson’s first two records, 2006’s If You Come to Greet Me and 2009’s Beast of Seasons. Though both provided substantial proof, in evocative lyricism and fragile folk-pop songcraft, as to why each could be appreciated in its own right, neither attempted the exuberant grandeur or ambitious leaps that fill La Grande. Gibson’s spider web-thin vocals remain but are this time underlined doubly thick by more precise and energetic arrangements, hissing AM radio static and punctuating bass drum and rim taps, as on the title track, La Grande’s opener and a sonic racehorse that rollicks forth with Gibson recalling a “pine-bearded hill” near which “still, to this day/ I can hear the whistle blow/ I can smell the sage burn.”

And the rest: Right here.

I also did a rediscover of early 2011’s “Grown Unknown,” from Lia Ices:

Having ditched Rare Book Room for Jagjaguwar following release of her 2008 debut, Necima, last January’s Grown Unknown saw the unleashing of a rawer, more colorful side to New York singer-songwriter Lia Ices’ sound, even while it retained some of the stark dolorous beauty of her first record. Exploding in percussive- and piano-led fractals and feathery, funereal dirges, it’s an expert showcase for the classically trained but experimentally inclined Ices’ strengths, sufficiently developed and on occasionally stunning display just two entries into her nascent career.

The remainder be here.

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About allisunknown

26 year-old student, tutor, and writer. Write for http://www.spectrumculture.com. Also nascent pedestrian advocate. Twitter handles: twitter.com/joeclinkenbeard twitter.com/PedInPDX
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