I am struck by how vivid Artificial Love’s (Liz Courtemanche) debut is. Courtemanche has fought with a colour palette of emotions and now her world is stained. The days are pink, the hue sometimes so bright it hurts her eyes.
Nothing is muted: “Drinking Blood” is a warped horror movie on a basement tv where the colour temperature is off – “I love drinking blood, I can’t get enough. Am I going insane or are we all the same?”; on “Maude/Mood Piece” the body is a prison, a puzzle to solve – “all my skin is draped over my skeleton like your coat to a hanger”; “Lonely Astronaut” was probably crafted following a close encounter with Ziggy or after watching 2001: A Space Odyssey while high – “sometimes I feel like the universe was created by god while he was tripping on acid or something like that”; “Blow Me Away” puts a hand in the raging hot fires of a crush – “I hope you get drugged into a coma and they bury you alive, I hope you die.”
But there’s also, un-muted, the sweetness of friendship (“I Hope You Get The Job”), the bliss of love (“Schedules”), the glory of the days when you feel confident (“Ignorant”).
Your Flaming Smile Turns Brown Days Pink is a lot to take in but two songs stood out for me: “Beauty As A Sliding Scale” – driven by a mess of guitars and Courtemanche’s dysphoria – is beautiful chaos. This chaos returns on “Somewhere To Stay” as Courtemanche unleashes a string of anxieties while looking for a place in the world. God, I hope she finds it.
Top Tracks: “Beauty As A Sliding Scale”; “Somewhere To Stay”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)