10 Track, LP (2010, Departed Sounds)
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Related: Amaya Laucirica.
On her second album, Amaya Laucirica retains the same trio of multi-instrumentalists – Andrew Cowie, Andrew Keese, and Richard Martin – from her 2008 debut, Sugar Lights. They’re joined this time by J.P. Shilo, who handles strings and other embellishment. Due partly to Shilo’s contributions and partly to Laucirica’s own evolution, Early Summer is a dreamier, more ruminative affair. She now sounds less like a singer-songwriter with a band behind her and more like a band leader, twanging her smoky sigh with sureness against the richest of textures. If her lyrics can get lost in all that enveloping prettiness, these songs grow more tangible and accessible as we learn their individual shapes.
Still, it’s an album marked by understatement and restraint, no matter how many different instruments materialise. Like Sally Seltmann’s latest album Heart That’s Pounding, Early Summer is burgeoning with layers, but in this case the results sound more like Mazzy Star fronting a mellowed Jesus and Mary Chain, especially on ‘Climb Up High’. As little as she dramatises her vocal delivery, Laucirica remains very confident in it, slinking through the reverb lullaby ‘This World Can Make You Happy’ and gently reassuring us on ‘When I Think Of All The Places’. Her melancholy on ‘Sleeping In Your Shadow’ comes in degrees as subtle as the growing distance between lovers she describes, while she yearns openly on the almost cosmic country of ‘Marry Me’ and self-harmonises on the closing ‘It’s So Wrong’.
A deeply calm, somewhat shrouded, grower of an album, this puts the Melbourne songwriter towards the front of her class – if only people give it time to settle in.
by Doug Wallen