reviewed by Anna Alger
Lydia Ainsworth has relocated to Toronto from Montreal, and reemerged with an invigorating second album, Darling Of The Afterglow, which is more eclectic and pop focused than her debut, 2014’s Right From Real. She continues to utilize her multi layered vocal tracks and penchant for strings, creating romantic arrangements. Poppy guitars, strong bass, and carefully timed rhythmic elements appear in these songs – showing the ways in which Ainsworth’s music has branched out into more of a pop dimension.
She builds drama on the likes of “Open Doors,” orchestral and repetitious towards the song’s end, in a way that echoes former tour mate, Owen Pallett, who she opened for in 2014. Lydia reaches towards an otherworldly place in “Spinning,” modulations and an plethora of instruments fighting for attention. Ainsworth’s celebrated cover of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game,” makes an appearance on Darlings Of The Afterglow, originally released in 2014. One can really here the work that she has put into her craft in order to develop such a chameleon-like sound. The stripped back instrumentation of “WLCM” (What Love Can Be) is welcome, as the song’s calming atmosphere winds the album down to a close.
Although Darling Of The Afterglow is sonically overwhelming at times, it is undoubtedly a significant achievement, especially this early in her career as a singer-songwriter.
Top Tracks: “Ricochet,” “WLCM”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)