26 year old Lail Arad has a fast growing reputation as one of London’s finest (and funniest) new singer songwriters. The big question is, however, does she have enough about her to transfer the potential and the promise into a decent debut album? Happily, the answer is yes. Comfortably.
Someone New is a wonderfully intriguing juxtaposition of intimate folk-tinged splendour, bold as brass, in-your-face pop classics and just about everything in between.
Opening with ‘Over My Head’ we learn of all the many things that Lail doesn’t quite understand and we also learn that, as well as her gift with words, she knows her way around a melody, too. It’s catchy, it’s clever and it’s a commendable start to the record.
Next we’re treated to other side of Lail’s personalty with ‘Winter’, a delicate acoustic song dealing with the complexities of a break up. It’s such a difference in style that you could be forgiven for thinking your CD changer had switched the CD without you noticing. But, crucially, it works. And so we go on, flipping from one style to another… and then to another. From the almost blues riff of ‘Berlin’ to the country-esque banjos of ‘Reminds Me’ to the gentle piano of ‘The Q Song’.
The records greatest moment though, is the hilarious indie-pop genius of ‘The Pay You Have To Price’ in which Lail introduces us to six different characters from around the world, giving each one an accent and a personalty and somehow squeezing it all in inside six minutes. It’s a truly perfect slice of comedic pop that illustrates exactly why she is such an exciting prospect.
So then, the album Lail Arad has delivered is a schizophrenic, genre hoping, kookier-than-anything-else-you-own kind of record – and it is absolutely glorious.