Lucie Idlout’s ‘Swagger’ sounds like trailer park music

Hailing from Nunavut, Lucie Idlout’s album is full of sweet contradiction. She’s one of those singers who can pull off the most soulful lines while sounding rougher than a train wreck – a sort of midnight Whisky rasp that sounds uniquely feminine too. After a while, this album sounds a lot like late Alice in Chains, because both Idlout and Layne Staley have the voice of a 300-pound trucker despite their deceivingly slender builds.

idlout could beat you to a bloody pulp if she wanted to
idlout could beat you to a bloody pulp if she wanted to

 

 

When she croons “Drunk last night/ and got into a fight” in the track “My Shine,” it brings to mind a pretty girl with soft hair who’s just much tougher that she appears. Laid with predominantly heavy, distortion-rich guitars, Idlout manages to maintain harmonic integrity despite the harshness of her instrumental entourage.

The album peaks at “Belly Down,” where Idlout tells a commonplace, but compelling story of alienation. Wailing out lines like “She once was a beauty queen/ in a small town world/ she shattered all her dreams/ hanging out with big city girls,” our character becomes a junkie in a gritty industrial grotto.

While Idlout has the technical skill and a fantastic voice, her lyrical integrity leaves much to be desired. Drinking and fighting certainly has its merits, but even in the world of rock and roll those aren’t always enough.

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