The NME re­view of the Ly­dia Ainsworth al­bum

Toronto artist Ly­dia Ainsworth gets all gothy on her sub­lime sec­ond al­bum


Ly­dia ainsworth

Dar­ling Of The After­glow ★★★★

As the clang­ing key­board chords that open

‘the Road’ ring out like sin­is­ter church bells, it’s clear that cana­dian com­poser and song­writer ly­dia Ainsworth’s sec­ond al­bum is go­ing to be some­thing very spe­cial in­deed. Fol­low­ing a spate of re­cent pop cul­ture nods to a hip new ac­tivism-based kind of witch­craft – indie movie The Love Witch and lana Del Rey’s anti-trump spell for starters – this seems to be the sound of lush elec­tronic pop throw­ing its pointy hat into the ring.

“As­tral mir­rors guide the fall / Let’s go on and on and on once more,” mur­murs Ainsworth, ooz­ing sen­su­al­ity, strength and su­per­nat­u­ral sass over dark, unc­tu­ous beats. there are hints of Bat For lashes’ gloom and chvrches’ won­drous way with a synth-driven melody here, but Ainsworth’s voice is in­deli­bly her own. ‘After­glow’ plugs into the same moody, mys­ti­cal vibe, while lyrics about “the queen of an­gels” pitch this as a deeply fe­male record, one that car­ries with it a wom­anly warmth.

clas­si­cally trained, the breadth of Ainsworth’s tal­ent is laid bare on ‘Dar­ling Of the After­glow’. As well as towering gothic elec­tropop, we also get stone cold bangers like ‘Open Doors’. Boast­ing a ma­jes­tic, beat-driven cho­rus that sounds like Katy Perry guest­ing on a Yeasayer track, it’s a lux­u­ri­antly pro­duced track, full of breathy glitches, vel­vety vi­o­lins and layer upon layer of in­trigue. if you’re look­ing for a song to get ut­terly lost in this spring, then your search has come to an end.

the same goes for the med­i­ta­tive but mas­sive ‘into the Blue’, which has steamy hints of the Weeknd, while ‘spin­ning’ comes over like Kate Bush af­ter pulling an all-nighter at the Ware­house Pro­ject. if any­thing, an aching cover of chris isaak’s 1990 ‘Wicked game’ – how­ever beau­ti­ful – seems a touch un­nec­es­sary, mud­dling Ainsworth’s own vi­sion with some­one else’s words and melody. ly­dia Ainsworth has more than enough tal­ent not to bother with other peo­ple’s ma­te­rial. Leonie Cooper

Gothic Bangers synths Bat For Lashes Chvrches

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