Lydmor blasted onto my radar in 2018 with her stunning album ‘I Told You I’d Tell Them Our Story‘. That album has only grown in stature over time to become one of my favourite electronica based albums of the last decade. ‘Capacity’ is an entirely different beast yet in many ways it packs the same punch. Electronic. Emotive. Plugged. Pointed. Layered. Enigmatic. It is quite unlike what anyone else is doing.
‘Capacity’, in contrast to the maximum attack of the previous album, is much more subdued but no less dramatic. The album revels in taking you into altered states of humanity and emotional reality. Lydmor opens with the vocoder layered ‘Amandas Lullaby’ which evokes Imogen Heap’s Hide and Seek but more robotic. It immediately alerts you to the album’s theme – the world of men and its power over women – in a rousing and confrontational way. As the many voices of Lydmor rise up united – it is as if she is gathering her army to tell you what’s what. Elsewhere the stunning ‘LSD Heart’ is like a slow-motion car crash with drawn-out choruses that warp like a drug trip. Here, the artistic world is framed in a way that lets men get away with a lower bar for art than women. Then we have the dramatic ‘Go Slow But Go’ that literally explodes into a raving frenzied bullet hell attack for its chorus hook. Everything feels like an eerie dream where pretty things happen on the surface but the terror hides underneath.
This beautiful terror often manifests in some absolute bangers too. ‘Nevada feat Eivør’ is bombastic and full of catchy hooks. ‘Diamond Breeze’ is a crossover of James Bond femme fatale energy with chill out electronica. The club classic in waiting ‘Someone We Used To Love’ is electric with euphoric melodies, thumping beats and classy hooks. I haven’t enjoyed dancing around to bitter disgust at myself for loving someone who we now see as a full-blown twat for ages. Anyone who has been in a relationship where your shape, form and body was constantly niggled at – this is your two-fingered anthem of reclamation.
The character of Amanda and Emma – possibly real-life retellings of sexual objectification and all kinds of horrors, recur in the album for the quieter moments. ‘Amandas Dream’ is an otherworldly story of spoken word and effects that creep into your psyche. ‘Emma Spins’ is a stripped back singer-songwriter style piano and vocal-led piece that feels like a declaration to women to look after and look out for their sisterhood. Lydmor sings it with rawness and emergency to employ you to look after her. It’s a call to action we can all take heed of.
When I first listened to ‘Capacity’ when I bought it on release, I missed so much of the nuance that makes this album superb. I came in initially thinking ‘I’ll take Crazy Club Stories 2: Revenge of Claudia please’ and this is a totally different beast. It requires time, thought and a different headspace to connect with. Yes, there are a few real killer club tracks (notably the title track) that you can hang your hat on, but Lydmor’s legacy for this album will be that of empowerment. The way she has wrapped her electronic production around her lyrics to audibly tell her story and make her points is superb. Give it time and ‘Capacity’ will pay you back tenfold over. This is another world-class album from Lydmor. Frankly, it is stunning. If anyone says that dance and club music cannot merge pure emotion into the dancefloor, well, I present ‘Capacity’.
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