Francesca Lago produced new album Mirrors Against The Sun with just 2 close collaborators (apart from Max Lotti’s credit for ‘noise guitar’ on 1 track), who drape her vocal songcraft and guitar lines with synth, cello and drum rhythms. It’s a very full and sweeping alt-pop sound for such a small ensemble: that’s skills that is. On T3 Records.
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Normally this record would go to our resident moody singer expert Robin but he’s off somewhere doing something so it’s in the hands of me instead. Sorry Francesca.
Luckily I have really enjoyed the gothy tones of the opener ‘Where Do We Go?’ which breaks out of a synth motif into the kind of swirling '80s influenced dark rock that makes you want to go and sit in a field in twilight. Those guitars are pretty delicious - all flanged and that while Lago’s voice is a quite lovely thing. Sweet but never twee, it has an attractive graininess to it which ensures that these twisty songs have a strong leader.
There’s several good moments but if I were trying to persuade you then I’d choose ‘Out in the Blue’ which perfectly exemplifies the musical mix of the precision of the Chicago area bands (Sea and Cake, Tortoise etc) and the new wave atmospheres whilst has a lovely infectious chorus you’ll want to follow forever. ‘Dna’ is a rather euro ballad saved by her voice and an extra twist to the melody. It’s generally interesting sweeping alt pop with nods towards Shannon Wright, Belly and maybe something of Laura Veirs on the quieter tunes. It;s bit hit and miss with the odd clunker but even when these happen Lago’s voice is thrilling.
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- Mirrors Against The Sun by Francesca Lago
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