Unpredictable and complex, the debut EP from Philadelphia band, Lady, forces the listener to abandon all definition and simply listen. The sooner you abandon the urge to define and classify the music, the sooner you will reside in the imagination of Lady and their enigmatic lead, the mysterious and divine 21 year old chanteuse Kate Foust.
Lady formed in 2009, when Kate chose to start the band that she had always wanted to play in. Enter friend and co-conspirator 21 year old, Liz Zook on violin and the layers of complexity began. Bassist Jim Scanlan, Guitarist Zach Poyatt, and drummer Ben Smith rounded out the ensemble and Lady began recording their first EP by December of 2009. Four tracks that confound and delight, leaving you with one clear thought - I want more. The players are all Philadelphia based students of classical and jazz music, and are each heavily embedded in the rich Philly scene having collaborated with artists such as folk outfit The Divine Lorraine, hip hop stylists Sela, the genius Virtual Virgin, Toy Soldiers, and many others.
"To the Heights" is a blues-infused torch song, with a rock 'n roll backbone, ebbing and flowing with intensity. Foust's commanding belt, along with Zook's violent bowing bring you in with a sense of urgency. According to Kate, "The song came to me at a time when I was at a very low low, it was the result of a very tiny idea of love in the back of my head. It's almost and invitation to be proven wrong."
Followed by this invitation is the heady and ephemeral, "Axe." It's dream-like quality bounces on an almost train-like beat, traveling through cascading strings and and lingering piano. "People often ask me what this song means, what it's about. It's one of the few songs here I honestly cannot give a sufficient answer. It fell into my lap and these images swept across my mind's eye. The main idea was to cut through the haze of these things, like an axe."
Not ready to drift off into dreamland quite yet, Lady shifts to a whole new territory. The third song on the EP, "Of Course," is a gently funky, almost surf rock tune that echoes Foust's sentiments towards the many gentlemen callers who happen to think they can impress her with a song or two. "You know, I just got sick and tired of the same old thing. I work with musicians all of the time, most of them gentlemen... and I love them! But when it comes to courtship, some of them can't handle an equal and prefer to be worshipped. They create this drama in their lives to make themselves seem more interesting and they just want someone to watch and clap on the sidelines. Well, I can't be that person... no one should have to!"
Lady ends the EP with it's title track, "I Think It's Fine." This old-school R&B, no-nonsense song leaves a lot of room for sly commentary and sexy guitar licks and suggests a new kind of "religion" - one that the guys and gals of Lady are making up along the way.
Not a bad little nugget. The eponymous may very well go on to be a classic. Word around Philly is Kate's the next great voice of this great town. And that noise you hear as you read these words is the buzz buzz buzzing sound that comes out of folks mouths when they see this lead Lady live.
Defying categorization is a hallmark of Ropeadope artists. Kate Foust and Lady take this to a new level, completely stripping the concept of genre and leaving nothing but the music. Much will be written about this band, but nothing but the music itself will capture the fully unique experience that is Lady.
released 05 October 2010
All songs written by Kate Foust
All songs arranged by Lady
Album released by Ropeadope
Recorded & Mixed by Dion Lionetti at Fresh Produce Studios at The Fire
Mastered by Mark Peteritas at Working Man's Productions
Artwork by Kate Egan
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