Lady Lamb, also known by the name Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, is a singer-songwriter from Maine who has been hard at work for several years as an independent artist. Her first record on major label Mom + Pop Music is a testament to her genuine songwriting talent. Mom + Pop, the label that backs acts such as Wavves, Sleigh Bells, and Fidlar, is no stranger to scuzzy, fuzz-pedal-driven punk rock. This production trademark rings through much of the music, but the production brilliantly focuses on the warm, pure voice of Lady Lamb.
She doesn’t stretch for the most out-there voice possible, like many alternative acts of this decade. Rather, she relies on old-school vocal range, vocal dexterity, and moving lyricism. The instruments fall back especially deep into the mix during the soaring harmonies on the track “Ten.” (Yes, it’s the tenth track on the record). The dichotomy between her raw vocal style and the sleek, forward-thinking instrumentation proves to draw attention to the sharp observational tone of her lyrics. Lady Lamb attacks society as a whole and how lacking in life the world seems to be. She questions the honesty of the world around her, but she never whines, rather choosing to hold on to the biting quality in her pronunciations. The warmth in her vocals reassures that everything will be alright in the end, no matter how much evil she sees.
The album as a whole sounds cinematic and passionate, and I’d recommend giving it a listen beginning to end. The tracks are organized exceptionally well, allowing the aggressive guitar fuzz to slowly lose control and give way to some soothing chords. “Vena Cava” and “Billions” are the first two tracks on the album, and they are the most straightforward rock-oriented with extremely catchy choruses. The acapella intro, banjo strumming, introduction of a male backup singer, trumpet outro, and full bass tone throughout “Violet Clementine” make it the most unique and engaging track on the record. The robotic, St. Vincent-esque nature of “Heretic” fits the lyrics, and this tone combats the chaotic interludes that make the song feel like it could derail at any moment. “Sunday Shoes” muses over religion and playfully picks at the guitar to create a moving ballad. “Spat out Spit” grooves over existential lyrics that reach a manic peak at the end of the track. These first six are the strongest individual tracks, and from tracks 7 to 12, the song barriers fall. This stands as a more stripped-down half of the album that impressively stands on its own together. The instrumentals drone on in a lazier, more content cadence. “Dear Arkansas Daughter” and “Batter” succeed most at this slow-jam rock. Interjections of punk energy revive the energy of the album throughout, proving that she could churn out catchy punk-pop tunes easily.
However, Lady Lamb is taking a tougher route, sticking to musicianship and harshly honest lyrics that may not be for everyone. This is a bold voice in alternative rock that tests the power of honesty. This isn’t always easy listening, but that’s what makes it so magnetic.