Today has certainly been an exciting moment for alternative and experimental music. The whole world takes a critical pause, for new albums from Tyler the Creator, Doja Cat, and even Haitus Kaiyote. But in the midst of major releases, one Detroit-based indie band carves out some serious space for themselves in the midst of the conversation. Not only is this album packed with excellent pieces of work, but also with musical conversations we can explore so much more moving forward.
Presenting Lady--- a band comprised of Paris, From Tokyo and Ivy, formerly of Altnubian Collective, compliments of We All Suck. Their new project "In the Woods" is an EP dwelling in the dinosaurish footprints of acts like Funkadelic, Emerson Lake & Palmer, and Esperanza Spalding. The project still however carves out some modernizations such as Monte Booker poratamento'd chords and textural SFX that call back to the electronic anthemism of albums like Kid A.
The project starts incredibly vocal, with opening track "Cudi Hum" (an homage to rapper Kid Cudi) and "U and I", as Ivy takes the bulk of the vocals in the forefront. Have you ever been on a trip with your respected other and things just don't feel right? Like they're distant. Like they haven't loved you the same as they used to? And suddenly you decided that this was your last car trip with that person-- that instead of forming that person like "red clay" you decide to dedicate space and creativity for yourself. Thats what happens during the first leg of this album over voluptuous tremolo and driving synths.
As indicated, the second half of this album is much more instrumental starting with elevator disco "Audio Hypnosis (Ghost Town)" and then drifting away with eerie and dissonant closing track "Limeade" featuring Bugbrainsss. On both tracks, the duo really shine as musicians, dedicating more attention to pacing and improvisation.
It is super easy to approximate this album as a progressive-rock album. However, we're refusing to call this project progressive-rock-- not because we don't think it is. But moreso, because such a distinction would be a condemnation of not only this body of work, but also the rich legacy of black musicians who have forfeited themselves over to their most-creative instincts. Upper class progressive-rockers championed the influences of jazz, funk, and the most early forms of electronic--- musics all constructed by blacks in rustic metropolitans to form what we now dub progressive. But what about those people who are not motivated by establishing high art, so they can pretensify themselves? What about those who are inspired by ancestors left behind in their grandmothers record collection, and in the fault lines of residential streets they walked to come together? In order to properly address this project without either condescending or antiquating it, "In the Woods" is an art-piece molded and kilned in the heart of Detroit-- a family house passed from generations of industry migrants to honest and true creators.