As the digital format is now available globally, I wanted to repost my review, written almost a year ago to date.
It seems that when an artist matures they feel the need to leave their old style and branch out into the new. This can be discouraging to some listeners, and exciting for others. On Lay Low’s new album, Talking about the weather, the new, slightly more complex sound chooses to embrace the past and bring it along instead of dismissing it entirely. The more I listen to this album, the more I appreciate it, and it definitely is the best I’ve heard so far in 2014.
Lay Low, Lovísa Elísabet Sigrúnardóttir, has been in the Icelandic music scene for almost a decade now. She’s in the famous Benny Crespo’s gang, and she has been putting out solo albums since 2006. Recently, she charmed the socks of the interwebs by doing a cozy live stream concert from the living room of her home. I’ve said before that she has an ability to make any size crowd feel at home, and even over the web she managed to make the listener feel as if they were hanging in her living room.
I’ve compared her previous albums to birth-children of June Carter and Nancy Sinatra. And they are all excellent lo-fi country-esq masterpieces. And while different than the others, the new album maintains the quality a Lay Low fan would expect. Each song is a single on it’s own, but is made greater with it’s accompanying album mates.
Talking about the weather starts out very classic, her voice strongly leading us into a familiar Lay Low guitar beat. But then the listener is quickly introduced to the new gang of instruments and complexities. The vocals become more full, with stronger backing, the perfect addition to her folk/guitar vibe creating this bluesy feeling. It’s the perfect introduction to the hybrid of styles the listener will hear the rest of the album.
Gently, has a very strong 90’s Cardigan feel, and just as the song speaks of rolling down the street, the song is so smooth one gets a sense of smoothly rolling along. In the dead of winter reminded me so much of 70’s Marianne Faithful that after finishing the Talking about the weather the first time I had to revisit my Faithful catalog.
Like laying on a tube floating down a gentle river beer in hand, sun above -the album rolls along peacefully. In One of those nights, she sings: “I try to keep my emotions from climbing up high, but there’s something in that song.” Whether she meant it as a metaphor for love, or pertaining to an actual song, it’s hard not to be taken over with a calm, happy emotion when listening to this album, each and every song.
Currently, the album is available from her website in CD or Vinyl format, and is now available in digital format all over the place. You can follow Lay Low on her facebook page, hear more of her stuff on Soundcloud.