Mechanical Bride Living With Ants Review

Album. Released 2011.  

BBC Review

A debut which promises that great things are to come from this young artist.

Jen Long 2011

At a time when artists are pioneering formats and technologies for music consumption, new genres emerge and transform and styles evolve, sometimes it’s nice to take a step back and remind yourself how equally powerful and emotive just a single voice still can be.

Mechanical Bride is the solo project of Brighton resident Lauren Doss. Living With Ants marks her debut album, but it’s an effort mature beyond its freshman status.

Her vocals are the key pull: close, intimate, and delicate across the melodies of these tracks. They blend with glowing piano lines before disappearing into a breathy whisper. There’s a Beach House-like husk to her voice that plays against Laura Marling-recalling arrangements, but this isn’t a straight comparison. Mechanical Bride follows the new folk trend, but tailored to a more traditional ear.

Her elegant song construction can be handed in part to the production, which plays a large role in the record, gracing Living With Ants with a wonderful amount of space inside each track. Every instrument is allowed to come to the fore, but never overshadows Doss’ delivery.

At times proceedings embark on a tangent, leaving the calming and touchingly honest tones of songs such as Colour of Fire and Lakes, expanding into foreign genres. By Night has a strong air of Bat for Lashes to it, Demons takes a jazz turn and Walk Into the Forest marks a bizarre and almost Fiery Furnaces twist that’s far too short-lived. Each of these diversions is interesting and competent, but each breaks the pace of the record, pulling the listener from an otherwise encapsulating dream.

Yet even with the small shift in focus, Living With Ants still proves itself a pioneering showcase for the talents of Doss, and promises that great things are still to come from this young artist.

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