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.
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.