I first heard of Mechanical Bride way back in 2008 when a striking cover of Rihanna’s ‘Umbrella’ started getting some blog hype. The song came from Lauren Doss, aka Mechanical Bride. Her debut album ‘Living With Ants’ has been a long time coming, but listening to the finished product, 10 delicate tracks of wonderful storytelling and an incredibly unique sound, you know its been well worth the wait.
Opening track ‘Magpie’ begins with soft dissonant piano chords setting the scene for the dreamily soft album you are about to hear. Doss’s voice is haunting but beautifully placed amongst sounds of brass and strings. The song has a slightly offbeat jazz feel about it and is also reminiscent of early Bat for Lashes tunes. ‘Young Gold (You Stole My Heart)’, is more folky and more melodic but its Doss’s voice which keeps that stunning sound weaving though the songs.
‘Colour of Fire’ was the first single to be taken from the album, its melodic ambient sound is wonderful and the video which accompanies it is also worth a watch. The repeating line ‘Shouldn’t you be somewhere, shouldn’t you be alone’ circles round the song and then round your mind. Next track ‘Peach Wolves’ is my personal favorite from the album. Its more folk than the rest and reminds me a lot of a Blue Roses track, but with a completely different voice. ‘By Night’ is a dark haunting number, which features Doss speaking and the whole track is incredibly Natasha Khan, more than any other on the album.
Continuing on, ‘Lakes’ is a haunting piano ballad, and ‘To the Flight’ adds a contrast with its fast paced pizzicato strings and vocal harmonies. ‘Walk into the Forrest’ is jazzy and sweet number lasting just over a minute and a half. It offers quite a contrast from the rest of the album tracks but that darkness still remains.
‘Demons’ continues the jazzy feel, with its very upbeat but slightly haunting feel to it. It sounds like it could fit perfectly in a 1920’s horror film. Last track ‘Boom (Shine A Light)’ is one I remember from her live show at The Great Escape, and it works very well live and also on the album as the final track.
Mechanical Bride has created an album of true beauty and the simple, soft sounding outcome has clearly been the result of wonderful song craft, beautiful melodies and the hauntingly dark voice of Lauren Doss. The Mercury nominations are just round the corner and I really hope this album gets a consideration, they do occasionally spot under the radar albums. I hope this is the first of many brilliant albums to come from Mechanical Bride.
Living With Ants is out now on Transgressive Records. Catch her at the following events…
July 20th- St Giles in the Fields, London
July 22nd- Truck Festival
Best Tracks: Colour Of Fire, Peach Wolves, Boom (Shine A Light)