Photo by Shervin Lainez
Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, Lady Lamb and The Beekeeper
August 22, 2013
Taft Theatre, 317 E 5th St, Cincinnati, OH
$13 adv, $15 dos, 7:30 pm doors, 8:30 pm show, Buy Tickets
More than anything, Aly Spaltro has 20,000 second-hand DVDs to thank for her first album. Despite being recorded at a proper studio in her recently adopted home of Brooklyn, Ripely Pine showcases songs conceived during her tenure at Bart’s & Greg’s DVD Explosion in Brunswick, Maine. Little did customers know, the same store they’d drop off their Transformers movies was providing the ideal four-year cocoon for the development of a major musical talent.
At 23, with five years of taking music seriously under her belt, when she ventured to the next milestone—recording an album. This would be the first time she did so in a professional studio (not just her and her 8-track) and the first time she shared the process with anyone else. Luckily, she met Nadim Issa at Let ‘Em Music in Brooklyn. He was taken enough by her abilities to dedicate nine full months towards the recording of Ripely Pine, and she with his producing abilities to ease comfortably into making him a part of her recording process. She wrote everything. All the songs, all the arrangements. And the two of them assembled an album that finally fit what existed in Spaltro’s mind. Keeping the songs’ stark rawness, the record is a pure representation of her sound.
Ripely Pine shouts the introduction of a new talent from every groove. Here, finally, are recordings of Lady Lamb that come as close as possible to conveying the intense majestry of her live shows. And, much like her performances live, a narrative breathes through the record’s progression. The album opens with urgency and anger, settles into reconciliation and reciprocation, and ultimately reaches towards resolution, realizing infatuation leads to a loss of self; instead, embracing one’s own strengths is the most powerful thing of all.
No surprise that Spaltro ultimately sings a mantra of individuality. A listen to Ripely Pine proves she has a lot to say for herself and certainly doesn’t need anybody’s help to do it.
Collaborating with Issa kind of ruled, though. And it’s going to be next to purely awesome seeing her play with a full band.