Every music lover knows this feeling. You hear a fantastic track on the radio; so you go straight out to buy the artist’s album. But, alas – all their songs sound mediocre compared to that first magical track.
Fortunately, Lydia Ainsworth‘s ‘Darling of the Afterglow’ isn’t one of these albums. With her own unique glitch pop style seeping into each of her songs, there’s a haunting and captivating engagement to each track.
Lydia‘s second album is delightfully weird, much like her debut album ‘Right From Real’. It feels its way through synth-pop and future-pop influences with a dash of ‘gothic R&B’. They’re styles that often threaten to lose the casual listener. But Ainsworth ensures that doesn’t happen, because the eclecticism is armed with a clear understanding of the elements of iconic pop music, born from her classical training: bridges, underlying currents of instrumentation, ostinatoes.
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‘Darling of the Afterglow’ shakes off some of the intriguing chaos of ‘Right From Real’ that marked her entry as an artist. Lydia Ainsworth‘s second album strips back from the slightly ramshackle and busy ‘off’ moments that may lose an audience. It emerges with extra bite, leaving the album ripe and ready for radio play, clear to hear in songs such as ‘Richochet’ and ‘The Road’.
Comparisons have been made so far between FKA Twigs, Bjork, and Kate Bush – but there’s certainly enough to separate her from these artists as her own emerging talent. One song that marks Ainsworth‘s strong talent is ‘Open Doors’, a stripped-back, velvety enchantment with a solid balance of pop drive and gothic glitch.
More immersive than catchy, Ainsworth‘s ‘Darling of the Afterglow’ is a soft digital bath of music where you can easily lose yourself for a gentle forty minutes. The only thing missing from her repertoire right now is a real hallmark song, the ‘Hide and Seek’ to Imogen Heap, that will draw in the mass crowds to her music. But if she continues to release albums like this, she won’t have to wait long for that anyway.
‘Darling of the Afterglow’ is now available through Bella Union.