Judging by the cover of Grace Lightman’s debut LP, it would appear that the title - Silver Eater - is to be taken literally. While it’s not exactly good practice to eat silver or encourage others to do so, things pick up when you get past that bit and on to the music. This is electro-pop at once poised and off-kilter. Silver Eater is not dissimilar to St. Vincent’s recent output.
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It’s not really a surprise that Grace Lightman used to be a psych band. Though she’s currently mining the meeting point between electro and pop, there’s a clear psychedelic bent to her music that makes it incredibly intriguing. That is, more intriguing than a couple decent choruses usually make a pop album.
It’s the production that does the heavy lifting in that regard. The synths on ‘Zero Impact’ are so hard I can feel them, and Lightman’s use of drums is sparse and unsettling. On the other hand, her vocals are clear but evocative, and happily fit into the album’s quieter moments as happily as the anthemic ones.
Despite the framing as a pop act, there’s a lot more going on here. ‘Rescue Party’ reminds me of that first great Autolux album, while the instrumental ‘Deep Space Getaway’ sounds like it could be a Giorgio Moroder track in its euphoric electro churn. There’s also more R&B inflected moments, the beautiful ‘Faultless’ sounds like if Lana Del Rey was produced by Bloody Orange. It is really that silky.
But she’s at her best when she leans into the strangeness. The aforementioned ‘Zero Impact’ is a brash and unapologetic bit of weirdo pop. The synths are out of control, and the light touch of autotune is something of a master stroke. Honestly, I wish there were a couple more moments on Silver Eater that went as utterly off the rails as that track, but as it is, it’s a very compelling pop debut.
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