The Austin Chronicle

SXSW 2015 Records

Reviewed by Luke Winkie, March 20, 2015, Music

Lydia Ainsworth

Right From Real (Arbutus)

Canadian Lydia Ainsworth studied at both McGill University and New York University, where she completed a graduate program in 2012. She composed film scores initially, but found inspiration in singing her own arrangements. Those experiments culminate in debut Right From Real, an avant, unclassifiable work of R&B filtered through classical composition. Standout "Take Your Face Off" packs tumbling vocal melodies over inescapable drum machine programming and fidgeting string loops. Oscillating synths push through the glittering "White Shadows," and "Hologram" apes Dirty Projectors' digi-pop in all its heart-fluttering glory. Occasionally we're lulled to sleep by pretenders, then something like Right From Real comes along and demonstrates that you can still be daring, effortless, and gorgeous without ever getting too obtuse. Lydia Ainsworth: one of the most talented people at SXSW this week. (Thu., 9pm, Sledge Hammer)


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