Single Reviews: 15 March 2023: girlfriend., Lauren Lakis, Antoine Duclos, St Catherine's Child, Kamil Kowalczyk

Photo by Athena

girlfriend. - Trust


The music of Dublin outfit girlfriend. is as stylized as their lowercase and punctuated name. Their softly melodic verses are counterbalanced with extensively atmospheric rock composed of bendy chords, smashing drums, and ethereal vocals. A comparison to The Cranberries would be work-shy but wholly justified as the four-piece work towards visceral ends. Recorded across three studios in Leinster, their recent single "Trust" has a refined and impactful sound. The fetching cover art by artist Eilis Mahon represents a compounded mood through collage-like abstraction, much like girlfriend., who smash together the sweet and the dangerous. 

Lauren Lakis - Take My Hand 


Lauren Lakis has made a compelling argument for her upcoming tertiary album, 
A Fiesta and a Hell, with its first single, "Take My Hand". The Baltimorean artist has been releasing under-the-radar top-drawer alternative rock since 2018's Ferocious, and the recent single shows she still writes from the shadows. According to Lakis, the track is about "forgetting what you thought you knew, letting go, bravely opening your mind to something radically different,". This theme could be seen as an abandonment of power systems in our lives, something echoed in the power of the song's seesaw dynamics. Lakis has a flair for melody and balance, equaling out her more forlorn expressions with energetic bursts, segueing between extremes of caution and unrestraint with style. A Fiesta and a Hell will be released on Green Witch Recordings this fall.

Antoine Duclos - The Lights Are Gone


French artist Antoine Duclos weaves heavily-reverbed vocals, whispers, gently-strummed guitar, and indiscernible keys sustained into oblivion into a dreamy soundscape on his recent single "The Lights Are Gone". The Landes-based artist might not be saying anything coherent, but the weightless mood is hard to ignore, inviting the listener to explore their emotions throughout this generously minimalist and patient composition.


St Catherine's Child - Every Generation

folk rock

The personal songs of British-American songwriter Ilana Zsigmond, AKA St Catherine's Child, are jeweller-polished and instantly accessible to those who don't mind a few cringe lines in their country-twinged folk balladeering. Her recent single, "Every Generation", uses familiar melodies and country-twinged sentiments to drive home ideas about parental loss, the strength accrued from enduring grief, and the potent power of memories. Navigating this bittersweet track may occasion a few thorn-prickly moments of lyrical pastiches, but the sonic richness, intimacy, and Zsigmond's naturally listenable voice produce plenty of glades creating a charming atmosphere through emotional vulnerability and timeless songwriting.  

Kamil Kowalczyk - Kompilator


Psychopomp producer Kamil Kowalczyk guides the listener down a dark staircase to the underworld in his recent release "Kompilator". The 20-minute piece builds slowly with droning sounds that fill the stereo with increasing intensity, like listening to water seep into soil. High-frequency tones are added to deathly drones, creating a tunnel of space of time, filled with the air and dust of theoretical sonic realms, places that, at the exact moment of coming into existence, always existed; sempiternal corridors to the human psyche.