Alice Phoebe Lou is an independent artist through and through. This not only means the organizational facets of her work, but also the music as such. How much her attitude determines her entire career was also demonstrated by her rejection of a support slot for Coldplay’s European tour. Alice Phoebe Lou was born in South Africa, but moved to Berlin after spending a year abroad in Europe. Since then, the DIY musician has been making street fanfare into a fanbase, releasing EPs and an album. With “Paper Castles”, everything gets a bit more professional, without losing the charm of the self-made.
This second album contradicts the conventions of the streaming age and deliberately focuses on deceleration. So while in the opener “Little Spark” a thick layer of reverb lies on Lou’s voice and the instruments only gently waft to the surface, “Nostalgia” resembles the name of a soundtrack of a black and white film. Finally, it becomes particularly spacious and atmospheric in “Galaxies”, where synthesizers join the organic instruments and drift into alien spheres. Lou, too, goes vocally into unusual realms. So while you are slowly starting to find yourself in a confused, but cozy, intermediate world during this first half of the album between lounge, jazz, dream pop and indie, “Something Holy” will finally give you a sexual touch to the wonderful atmosphere. Especially since here bodies are considered as something venerable, the following “Skin Crawl” breaks twice with the previous feeling of the album. Clearly, Alice Phoebe Lou condemns patriarchy, misogyny and aggression towards women – instead, she is clearly fighting for empowerment. Musically Lou also resorts to faster, more specific sounds – from the dreamy undertone to the sinister one. The fact that the album does not drift directly into a punk direction underscores Lou’s DIY attitude once more and looks very authentic. The video for “Skin Crawl” can also be strongly recommended at this point, it turns the objectification of bodies once with a wink on the head. With this momentum, the album takes on extra speed in the last third and offers with “My Outside” and “New Song” two of the catchiest and most meaningful songs. While the former criticizes the superficiality of women and works with hand claps, the second one encourages self-esteem. When the final “Ocean” speaks of a place of refuge in sad moments with gentle, wavelike melodies, the songwriting talent of the artist is again impressively proven.
“Paper Castles” is not always the simple one Way and sometimes turns off quite differently than you expected. Alice Phoebe Lou also proves to be an independent artist on her second album, which can not be squeezed into an easy-to-digest form – and can thus form a strong profile.
You can find the album “Paper Castles” here Buy it. *
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Alice Phoebe Lou live 2019
- 10.04.2019 UT Connewitz Leipzig
- 13.04.2019 Faust Hannover
- 23.04.2019 Musikbunker Aachen
- 29.04.2019 E-Werk Erlangen
- 01.05.2019 Jazzhaus Freiburg
- 02.05.2019 Ampere / Muffatwerk Munich
- 04.05.2019 At the Wizemann Stutgart
- 06.05.2019 Kulturkirche Köln
- 07.05.2019 KUZ Mainz
- 08.05.2019 The Kiel pump
- 11.05.2019 Columbiahalle Berlin
Rights to the album cover are owned by Alice Phoebe Lou.
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