Lail Arad – The onion (The Vinyl Factory)
An album of songs about life and love delivered with a youthful exuberance and a sweet nature.
Sweet natured but there’s also a wonderful deadpan quality to these songs giving them a certain bite which would make you think of Jonathan Richman, maybe even Leonard Cohen (one song here has Arad imagining herself as consort and muse to the Buddhist one in his prime).
As noted here before, the vocal style also has a lovely slacker vibe (I’m calling it), all insouciance and bending notes. This is shown off to best effect on the totally winning singles ‘When we grow up’ and ‘Lay down’. The former has this line which is a great high wire act of defiance and self-parody.
We try to be realistic but we’re so damn artistic
It all gives the impression of a writer trapped in a singer songwriter’s body or of simply choosing songs as a vehicle for now.
However the musical backing is very tasty. Off the cuff (seemingly) guitar work, choppy reverbed Motown chords, doo wop backing vocals and buzzing organs. ‘Count with me’ even has finger clicks, always good.
The wonderful opening song ‘Milo’ is like the template for Arad’s stew – first tender and sultry, then cool and snappy (great rimshots) with a band of female allies (possibly multiple Lails) chipping in with morale boosting backing vocal support.
It’ll all charm the pants off you while you’re swinging your hips.