Experimental singer songwriter Larkin Grimm returns with her first album for 5 years and her brand of exceptionally dark world folk remains, with a rich palette of instruments and sounds.
“Ah Love is Oceanic Pleasure” introduces you to the rich collection of instruments. Bass, shakers, various droning guitars and plucked instruments shimmer around Grimm’s voice. She’s recorded in a way that makes it sound like she is in a really empty room with a bit of cold reverb. It means that as she makes declarative lyrical statements, she sounds primal and resolute. The raj like opener makes way for harp and woodwind based “Beautifully Alone” which gives a little sprinkle of happiness among some really pointed lyrics of what meaningful love could mean. It’s a lovely band effort and has plenty of flourish and style. Combining both the previous styles the epic six-minute “Fear Transforms into Love” which is all about Larkin’s voice as the music supports her vocal operatics by sustaining a simple riff that becomes a drone mantra. It’s quite power and its continuous build up is impressive and expressive in equal measure.
Single “I Don’t Believe You” is a raw and primal cry for rape survival and something that Larkin holds close to her heart and smears it bloodied across the track as the harp and background vocal chants calmly channel a negative mind chatter whilst. It’s one of the few times where the music is allowed to breathe and flow and it works a treat. “On the Floor” is a grunge guitar and vocal transition and signals a mood transition in the album. The final trio of tracks are far more rock focused – each growing in style and boldness. “A Perfect World” starts broodingly before “Keeping You Alive” gives you pretty much all the kooky hooks the album owns in one track. The title track rounds off the album with a massive eight minute extravaganza. Different spoken word voices seep into the funky track that seeps into a dream like state over its duration and earns Grimm her status as highly experimental for another album!
With harps, guitars, a piercing voice and plenty of difficult subject matters to chew over, “Chasing An Illusion” is not an easy listen, but its chock full of rhythms, layers, emotion and a woman who is always treading awkward and tense new ground as a musician. This release will not be for everyone, but if it chimes with you, you’ll find catharsis from each of the tracks – and maybe even have a bit of a foot tap along the way.
Recommended Track : Beautifully Alone