Lady Lamb, formerly known as Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, is the stage name for Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Aly Spaltro. Over the course of her seven-year musical career, she’s explored a range of styles from the seven-minute epics of her debut Ripley Pine to indie-pop nuggets of its follow-up After. While Lady Lamb’s previous release, 2016’s Tender Warriors Club EP, contains seven stunning acoustic songs, Spaltro’s new LP, Even in the Tremor, strikes a balance between the influences marking each of her previous releases.
Even in the Tremor has its share of folk-leaning tracks, following the path established on the Tender Warriors Club EP. Songs like “Young Disciple” and the closing “Emily” are mostly acoustic affairs, and others like “July Was Mundane” and “Without a Name” (especially considering the string accompaniment of the latter) continue in ballad traditions, albeit with other instruments.
Spaltro plays with additional instrumentation, tempo, and vocal ranges and looping throughout the rest of the album, which illustrates how she can take a folk song and invert both its form and capabilities. Opening “Little Flaws” buzzes like a theremin while elements of the chorus repeat in the background in rounds. While the next song, single “Deep Love,” ends with a massive key change to the reaches of her soprano, its successor, “Even in the Tremor,” begins with Spaltro singing at the lowest end of her range. “Strange Maneuvers” also encapsulates those extremes — vacillating between a sparse, whispering preamble and frenetic dance party culminating in the self-assertion mantra, “I don’t want to be afraid of myself anymore.”
But most importantly, Even in the Tremor showcases a rawness and vulnerability Spaltro has not yet shared so explicitly before. Although Lady Lamb records always seem to capture vivid emotion, Spaltro’s first-person narratives lend a special honesty to this collection. On “Deep Love,” she sings of the most mundane details of love, like untangling her girlfriend’s hair after getting out of the shower. Yet, on “Young Disciple,” she goes for the big picture, grappling with existential fears like the concept of an afterlife and how we are to live in this one. Through the macro and the minutia, Lady Lamb offers 11 compelling stories of working through the loving, loathing, and learning of life.