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Of course,we all know Australian vocalist Lenka by her songs The show and Everything at once. While the former was used in countless films and sitcoms,including in a promo for Ugly Betty season 3,the latter was made famous after it was featured in an advertisement for Windows 8. Now three albums old,the 35-year-old musicians latest album Shadows also marks the launch of her own record company,Skipalong Records.
There has always been that indie,happy,elf-like quality to Lenkas voice. While her tunes are always upbeat,cheery and alluring,the words also carry deeper undertones that tackle more intense emotions such as estrangement and loss.
Shadows starts with Nothing here but love,a whisper-y,gentle track where Lenka sings in her clear,child-like voice,Love,sweet love/ Its all we know,so can I show you/ Love,sweet love/ Take time to grow,theres nothing here but love. The next track Faster with you is a gentle,romantic number,with xylophone and marimba embellishments,where the singer talks about romantic visions of love and intimacy.
Heart to the party is a song that we imagine would fit perfectly in a movie where the teenage protagonists are waltzing to a slow dance at their prom. With detailed descriptions of the cloudless night sky,accompanied by chime-like sounds,Lenka creates a perfect atmosphere for a clandestine kiss,as she sings,I wanna dance like I hope tomorrow will never come/ And fall like a star that knows its time is gone. This is one of our favourite tracks in the album.
The next track After the winter is a lovely soft-pop number. Watch out for the absolutely mesmerising violin riffs by Tracy Bonham as she accompanies Lenka crooning,After the winter comes the spring/ That is when the blue birds starts to sing. Honeybee is another fluid number featuring light and airy lyrics.
The fact that Shadows was conceived while Lenka was pregnant with her first child is evident in the emotional track Two heartbeats,as she sings to the accompaniment of beautiful techno-synth,Two heartbeats,one body. The last track,The top of memory lane,is a ballad dedicated to posterity. Here,as Lenkas voice takes us back to set the record straight,she assures the listener that shell meet us there at the top of the memory lane.
One of the confusing things about this album is its title. There is nothing remotely shadowy about this album,which can best be described as an ode to the elfin fragility of Lenkas voice. A breakout artist from the indie-pop genre,Lenkas Shadows leaves you with a very satisfied smile.