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I think I’ve fallen in love with Lady Lamb the Beekeeper‘s mastermind, Aly Spaltro. Though she’s quietly made music for the past few years, Ripely Pine serves as this 23-year old Brooklyn-via-Maine musician’s debut proper. It’s a stunner, too; Splatro’s voice is powerful, husky, and belies her relatively young age. She’s got a nice range, reminiscent of Kristin Hersh, Shannon Wright, and Hope Sandoval, but her voice is all her own. Her spry vocal range is matched by her spry stylistic range; songs found here run from banjo-picked folk (“Regarding Ascending The Stairs”), quiet, gentle folk (“Florence Berlin”), jaunty pop (“Aubergine,” “Bird Balloons”), to dark, atmospheric rock (“Little Brother,” “Taxidermist Taxidermist”). Supplementing her powerful singing voice is the superb production of Nadim Issa; he leaves her voice in the spotlight, only adding sounds that greatly enhance Spaltro’s singing—an explosion of brass here, a trumpet there. Ripely Pine is an ambitious record by a young singer who has the goods. It’s hard not to become intrigued by this; it’s very much a love-at-first-listen affair. Good luck avoiding the addiction.
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