Like your guitar work sharp and angular? Like your pop music melodic and intelligent? Own the Wire back catalogue and looking for a new outlet? Then Lonelady’s album Nerve Up is the album for you…
Lonelady is the alias of Julie Campbell, a Mancunian musician has crafted a superb album that takes its cues from post punk icons such as Joy Division, (early) New Order, Gang Of Four, Wire, Public Image. This is no mere rehash however, it also serves as an updating of those ideals as she melds with a pure pop aesthetic to make something really rather wonderful. The songs are constructed around her scratchy, panicky guitar backed by a twitchy drum machine. She has an excellent set of riffs, gets beautiful crystalline sounds from her guitar and uses them to write lovely bedroom-y DIY songs.
The songs are stark yet textured, glacial yet spiky, intimate yet detached, urgent yet insouciant. The contrasting moods and stance of the songs is part of the album’s intrigue, there is something mysterious and unknowable about Lonelady’s music. The standout is arguably “Marble”, all shimmering textures and pulsing electronics forming a deliriously exciting song.
Production is dry, clear and un-fussy which suits proceedings to a tee. Julie’s voice is halfway between slinky pop vox and post punk anxiety.
An excellent, fascinating album that deserves to be better known.
SEARCH IT: LONELADY ‘MARBLE’