Mary Lorson & Saint Low

SXSW Records

Phases and Stages

Mary Lorson & Saint Low

Tricks for Dawn (spinART) The elaborate musical constructions of Saint Low reach far beyond the level to which most pop music, which is about as far-reaching (and often as barren) as the Mojave Desert, aspires. Especially appealing to those who have a soft spot for the likes of Burt Bacharach or Cliff Richard, Mary Lorson and Saint Low explore the more refined regions of classic pop. This is what lounge music ought to be like -- sexy and smoky, slinky 'n' smoldering, catchy melodies that haunt the mind like memories fading against the will. With a voice that's unbearably pretty and pure of tone, Lorson makes every tune shimmer. Sometimes the lyrics are a bit obvious, and the effect suggests an identity not yet fully formed. But these moments are few, and for the most part, Tricks for Dawn is thoroughly conceived and expertly executed. As the voice behind Madder Rose, Lorson sang mellow indie pop that was tailored to her soft-spoken style. With Saint Low, her vocals are more confident and more prominent, and the songs reach for something more monumental than the Rose tunes did. Sometimes it works, as on the gems "Morningless Dreamer" and "Anything Can Happen." Sometimes, like on the bludgeoning "Oh Regret," they don't. Nevertheless, these are bold forays into the larger dimensions of pop music -- brave steps that do not go unrewarded. (Thursday, March 14, Buffalo Billiards, 11pm)


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