Laurie Black: Dark Days – SMALL MUSIC SCENE

During the never-ending pain of lockdown, I found myself indulging in a tonne of new acts over that timeframe, and one of them was famed cabaret darling Laurie Black. I was quick to become a fan of both her savvy shade-crafting skills and her infectious music. Not long after, she dropped her latest album – Dark Days – and it looks like I’ll be sticking around as part of the fandom for the foreseeable future.

Cosmic Indifference is a tidy enough intro piece, but things get properly juicy with Buy Or Die, which features some creatively saucy anti-capitalist writing signalled through Laurie’s zesty vocals, carried along by a seriously catchy, bouncing melody.

That buzz springs along into Speciosacrifice and its wild and wacky synths, which are toned down a little for the lucidly flowing Manic Pixel Dream Girl. Laurie again showcases her wonderous lyrical genius with heaps of clever and witty wordplay in Motherboard, with a hint of underlying dread and fear of control subtly sitting underneath.

Otherside is another with a poppy pep, Luck Is For The Weak contains both good hooks and absolutely divine keys, and Psychopomp dashes along to a tenaciously potent beat to match the enforced aggression of the tune’s theme.

The title number is among the most engaging of the bunch with its lyrics that are just as fun and quirky as they are disgustingly relatable and close to home. Cockroach is delivered in the style of a luscious ballad which gives Laurie an excuse to display her harmonic power in full bloom, and the simplistic yet satisfying Blacklight brings us to the finish line.

Dark Days is a joyful selection of songs bleeding with creativity, humour and legitimate musical finesse that proves exactly why Laurie Black has established a positive reputation for herself.

In fact, it’s a record so impressionable that it caused yours truly to return to the field of reviewing after months of drought; if that isn’t evidence of this being a great result, I honestly can’t tell you what is.

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