Wednesday, April 21, 2010

LoneLady - Nerve Up

It's not like the world is in lack of yet another post-punk-inspired record, so what makes this one so different to deserve a special mention? After all, it doesn't have any particular trick up its sleeve or anything, as the ingredients are pretty standard and actually quite basic, with the inevitable angular guitars and the precise rhythms of a drum-machine making the rounds. But beyond all the stylistic trademarks, you also can feel that is a very personal affair - and that's actually what takes Nerve Up apart.
LoneLady is basically the solo project of U.K. artist Julie Campbell and everything about it makes it somehow unique. There's the fact that this is a guitar-based pop album out on Warp records, a label mostly associated with electronic music and more leftfield genres; there's also the overall atmosphere of its sound, which is dry, precise and very controlled, featuring a lot of quite sharp edges and some subtle details adding new twists which are intensely overwhelming. And then, we have an extra special feature, which comes with the aforementioned "personal touch" and is felt everywhere: Julie Campbell is an artist with some big skills in songwriting, something that is immediatly recognizable upon hearing its rich and flawless melodies - which feel like instant classics -, and deeply confessional lyrics.
In the end, it's actually as a confession that Nerve Up should be heard. More than a post-punk-inspired record, which it also partially is, this is ultimately the sound of someone taking control, alone, and using that power to bare her soul on her own terms. (7/10)

LoneLady- Immaterial (mp3 via Warp)

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