Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
In this morning’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on Lily Lambert, an English songstress with a new record out entitled ‘Moving On.’ The album is her junior release, a self-described bookend to a collection of three albums. That trilogy began in 2014 with ‘Life of Lily,’ and was continued with ‘So Far.’ The album boasts a sonic palette heavily steeped in what Lambert calls ‘folk pop.’ Let’s dig into it and see whether the new album is worth checking out.
‘Folk pop’ is essentially ‘singer songwriter’ - acoustic-led music with pop sensibilities and introspective lyricism. Lily Lambert’s musical soul is one pulled straight out of 1972, the era where this kind of music thrived. There’s most certainly a resurgence in it, however, and she’s found her place in it. ‘I Forgive You’ opens the album with a melancholy track that seems to put the final entry in a long relationship. It’s a pretty tune, and exhibits some of Lambert’s personable charm.
‘Thank You,’ the album’s second track, is where Lambert begins to blossom out a bit. Her music is very bubblegum. It is personal, but tracks like ‘Thank You’ don’t offer much depth. They’re cute sing-alongs. Her accent tinges each track nicely, though Lambert does often fall vocally flat in tracks like ‘(Wanna Say) I’m Sorry.’ Her vocal mix is very dry, though, and she may have been better served by production that gave her voice a bit more depth within its soundscape.
‘Change’ flirts with Sam Cooke and Bob Dylan esque themes, calling for change within society. There are some light synthesizers and atmospheric percussion - which again, begs the question why her producer didn’t sync her into the atmosphere of the track with similar production. In any case, the track is vague - which is both good and bad. It’s good because it could be applicable to anyone or anything, but bad if Lambert had a direction she wanted to move with it. (In any case, her country did get change this week, for better or for worse.)
‘Say It Isn’t So’ is one of the better tracks in the collection, and Lambert’s voice feels perfect in the space of the song. When singing slightly softer, she reins in her voice remarkably well. ‘Rainbow Bridge’ is a pretty song, too, though I thought the Rainbow Bridge was iconic for being the entryway to pet heaven? One can’t help but think of their dead furry companions when listening to this track - probably not Lambert’s intention.
‘Lights Down Low’ and ‘Pour Another Drink’ close out the album fittingly, echoing the stylistic choices of the first six tracks. The former is a strong track, and probably could have been the closer, but the acoustic orchestration of ‘Pour Another Drink’ is pleasant as a finale. Thus, is this a record worth digging into it?
I’m a critic. I always have to be constructively honest. ‘Moving On’ is a fun little endeavor. Sometimes Lambert’s voice falls a bit flat, and her songwriting is nice, but not particularly insightful or compelling. Her personality sells the music, though, and if you can put those things aside, this is a quaint little popcorn effort perfect for tuning into if you’re a fan of indie singer songwriters and want something low-key and undemanding.