Track of the Week: A Halloween Album by A Lending Library

Ok, so maybe I lied. I didn't think I'd have time to get a track of the week up, but that was basically due to laziness. Sometimes laziness needs to take a back seat when good music is a-foot. Plus the subject for today's post has a relevant theme, it's all about Halloween!!

This is a slightly different take on the track of the week, as today's subject is actually an EP. I first heard the works of A Lending Library pretty recently, although I've known front man Andrew James for some time. He kept promising to get me a copy of his first release... but never did. I finally had to steal Olenka's copy. And I'm glad I did. It's fantastic. So, out of the blue this week I get a message from A.J. asking me to check out his newest EP (which he promises to actually give me a physical copy!!)

Check out the EP here

This is a very moody, sometimes experimental piece. It's like music for a Halloween movie that was never made (Hocus Pocus 2?). The genres change from somber acoustic folk (III), to Spinal Tap-esque metal (IV), to experimental field recordings (intro to I), to vaudeville funeral dirge (I).

For me, A Lending Library is at their best when the songs feature Andrew's low tenor over acoustic guitar, like in III. Probably the most somber piece on the album, it's probably no surprise that it's followed by metal scorcher, IV. This is definitely not the type of song I was expecting to hear. A pleasant surprise.

The all around best song on the album is the last track, V. Andrew's vocals are front and center. Sara Strickland's beautiful harmonies come in on the chorus. She's also a welcome edition on opening track, I. The album closes with a slow wolf-howl jam.

One thing I thought when I heard his first album, and now with this album, is that someone needs to put some money into this guy. I think the potential for consistently brilliant music is there. I can only imagine what he could do with a bit of money and a good producer behind him. Anybody? Anybody?


Sam Allen said...

I've got five bucks?
and wonderful review Shawn!

Shubhajit said...

Shawn, in your post "Note from the Editor: Perks of blogging" (July 20) you mentioned that you'll be joining Culturazzi. I'm really glad to hear that.

Shawn William Clarke said...

oh yeah, I was supposed to write something for them a while back, but I had a lot of trouble coming up with something. Than by the time I had I was worried that they wouldn't be interested anymore.... So, if they'll still have me, I would probably write something...

ambsace said...

yay AJ. nice review, shawn. high five.