World weary indie rock from your local Western.
Ann Scott has been making curious rock music for a while now. Her fifth album ‘Lily’ released beyond Patreon last week and Ann’s website comment states it was a slog to get out there. That tiredness and world weary tone is exactly what I tune into Ann Scott for. No one quite does the ‘I’m tired but I have a weird riff I’d like to moan over’ like Ann.
‘Lily’ is one of Ann’s quieter albums. It is largely acoustic or plugged but hushed – a guitar and voice with some additional drums, bass and piano or music box on occasion. The album works best when everything is in motion together, swaying like a numb zombie stumbling towards oblivion. Tracks like ‘River’, ‘Lily’, ‘Sweetheart’ and ‘Maybe So’ all play off that vibe beautifully. Ann has built up her voice with a montage of soft backing vocals that hazily pulls you around like a ragdoll. It is the free and easy roll from the songs that add to this stumbling lost vibe too.
‘Lily’ also contains some of the most Cowboy tracks Scott has created too. ‘Old Fashioned Morphine’ is a smoky pub blues number that you’d find in any good Western. Paired with it is a stripped back rendition of her 2006 classic ‘Down At the Parlour’. Transforming the shaky drums and raining synth piece into a dusty and creepy PJ Harvey b-side styled piece is inspired. Add to the beautiful ‘Everything’ and you have some great tracks at the ballad end too.
Whilst perhaps not her most immediate work, it is another timely reminder that when everything clicks, Ann Scott can deliver a 1-2 gut punch with her style of vulnerable-but-fuck-it-anyway rock. I think ‘Lily’ is probably one of the albums you’ll enjoy better having started elsewhere in Ann’s excellent catalogue (Poor Horse or We’re Smiling are great places to start). Once you’ve gotten accustomed to her quirks, then you’ll enjoy this release a whole lot more.
Recommended track: River
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