Thursday, October 14, 2010

Some Move Closer, Some Move On - Gianna Lauren

Some Move Closer, Some Move On

Gianna Lauren
Forward Music Group.

SCQ Rating: 80%

Anyone who has even glimpsed over Skeleton Crew Quarterly knows that this is a haven for album discussion. Nobody who regularly scavenges these parts should be overly concerned with individual tracks, back-stories or tour-dates because, even in this digital age, all facets of music remain hinged upon recorded music. The art of creating a moving body of songs that sequence well and conjure something greater than the sum of their parts is perpetually changing, but the mindset remains the same. Gianna Lauren, whether she’s ever thought about it or not, knows this mindset all too well.

She’d have to, because Some Move Closer, Some Move On has the forethought and finesse of a great album. Bearing a tone would’ve felt tucked away had it not encompassed the vast majority of these eleven songs, Lauren’s sophomore album creates enormous elbow-room from the quaint quarters her music compliments. Drawing from languid bass-notes and molasses-slow guitar progressions, tracks such as ‘Be Nice’ and ‘Stowaway’ expand upon their minimalism with tasteful ventures into moody ambience that feel out and pad the corners of any listening space. None of this intimacy would matter so much if pocketed into couplets but Some Move Closer, Some Move On’s stirring start, with opener ‘Become What You Can’t Be’ peppering soft beats next to warm strings, grabs us with Lauren’s understated presence. A horn section, undoubtedly one of the toughest things to work fluently into a predominantly low-key record, arrives naturally, its fanfare as somber and elegant on ‘Standstill’ as the depression-era jazz tempo whispering through ‘Hold Your Horses’'s gramophone.

Although the songwriting-side of Gianna Lauren may attract fans of Cat Power’s brooding early work, the arrangements of Some Move Closer, Some Move On breathe like those found on a post-rock record. The spacious guitar-work of ‘We Were Displaced’ rings of Mogwai - yes, Mogwai! - even before she commands her electric six-string to a chugging climax. Few albums drop so many convoluted signifiers, ranging from folk to gospel (as on the a cappella ‘Oh Feather’), without sounding like a misdirected mash-up. Then again, few artists sound as fresh and original as Gianna Lauren.

Become What You Cant Be by GiannaLauren

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