Lonelady - Hinterland - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Lonelady - Hinterland

by Steve Reynolds Rating:7 Release Date:2015-03-23

LoneLady is the one woman musical brainchild and machine of Manchester born multi-instrumentalist Julie Ann Campbell, and Hinterland is the long overdue follow up to her 2010 debut, Nerve Up

Five years is a long time away from the ever-changing British music scene, especially when your debut was so critically acclaimed and held in such high esteem, but any fears that her chameleon musicianship may be out of place or dated are quickly quashed with opening track ‘Into the Cave’, full of rumbling post-punk bass, clean synth lines, and Campbell’s subtle but driven vocal. It’s instantly likeable, while containing enough background noggins to set up what is about to be laid in front of us like a veritable feast.

‘Bunker pop’ is brilliant; melded with the pared-down pomp of Madonna and the scratchy rumble of post-punk pioneers The Slits, it’s packed with groove and constantly twists and turns down a variety of kaleidoscopic avenues.

The album’s title track takes on an array of many guises, utilising the punk-funk of Gang of Four, the swagger of Quando Quango, and a red hot dance groove that is simply irresistible. This record has a futuristic, minimalist approach, one that Campbell should be commended for as it seeps through all her music. Brimming with quick-witted confidence, ‘Groove It Out’ comes equipped with an army of cowbells and ice-cold electronica, and wouldn’t be out of place in any modern indie disco. 

The majority of the tracks are quite long and this gives LoneLady the opportunity to spread her wings and add subtle nuances. ‘Silvering’ has a skippy beat and a sense of dystopian mystic about it. As the song pushes on, it picks up the pace and the ticky, sharply-picked guitar takes centre-stage alongside some sheet-metal drum-patterns. It’s most definitely the highlight of the album.

Hinterland does have some flaws; some of the tracks are very similar in both sheen and arrangement. My worry is that it could suffer from a lack of longevity. However, there are plenty of tricks to tempt the uninitiated and consolidate her existing fanbase.

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