Labasheeda - Changing Lights

This new one sounds like a tougher, more raw-edged record than earlier efforts; and one that seems to want to explore their grungier side.

https://labasheeda.bandcamp.com


Labasheeda have always made enervating, questioning music whose twists and turns in search of "the one true path" can catch you out, and their latest LP Changing Lights  is no exception. This new one sounds like a tougher, more raw-edged record than earlier efforts; and one that seems to want to explore their grungier side. Still there are moments like Circles that nod to the squat folk of Camper Van Beethoven; and the sounds on Head and My Instincts have something in common with the brooding guitar of Throwing Muses.

Singer Saskia van der Giessen's voice sounds more pained and strained on this LP than other Labasheeda records, with tracks like Wasteland and the title track, it's as if she's trying to drag her band away (like a horse pulling at a plough) from the familiar template they've used up to now. This leads to some moments where you feel the music could break down like an old Jallopy, but these are more than compensated for by tracks like On The Beach, Cold Water, and the tremendous "farmer rock" of Tightrope where the balance between the restless, angry folkrock and the overall "feel" of the track finds a pleasing equillibrium; and nods to the Woodentops-style swirls they used to concoct. The more reflective moments also stand out on this LP; the tremendous instrumental Leave of Absence is a case in point, where the affecting violin part leads the music.

Enervating stuff, as ever.