Lady Lamb the Beekeeper – Ripely Pine [album review]

by Woody on February 15, 2013


Lady Lamb the Beekeeper is Aly Spaltro, but who the hell is Aly Spaltro? Based on the dynamic nature of her full-length debut, Ripely Pine; that is a tough question to answer. The first picture I saw of Aly had her in a big floppy hat and a linen blouse. It was easy to assume that her music was going to see some floral folk, potentially pretty, blah, blah, blah.

I’m here to tell you that Spaltro wears many hats. I could see her playing the Ryman as easy as playing solo in a coffee house in Brooklyn. Its as easy as seeing her play Chicago Theater with a full orchestra as it would be to see her tearing up the Bottle at 1AM. Spaltro’s record has be flummoxed like no debut has in awhile, and that is fantastic. She’s an onion and I’m just starting to peel back the layers.

Her voice and ability reminds me of Will Sheff & Okkervil River. I always have a hell of time explaining Okkervil to a non-fan and Sheff’s voice is also adaptive too many styles. Bird Balloons, a song that she writes, “the inception of this song was the first true catalyst that gave me the confidence to be musically vulnerable and entirely myself.” At a time, when whiny songs about ex-boyfriends are being nominated for a Grammy, Bird Balloons is a like a slap across the face. Working around a fierce guitar lick; it combines regret, vulnerability and fury over a dizzying six minutes. Here are a couple of verses. One seems vulnerable while the latter seems maniacal

So how about I play the harp and you play that piano
pull the curtains shut and nest like little sparrows
My limbs, my love are lost on you
My limbs, my love belong to you.

This is my loss of love, my loss of limb
You were my friend
and now
I’m a ghost and you all know it
I’m singing songs and I ain’t stopping
My hair grew long so I fucking cut it
and when you looked away
I snuck those trimmings in your locket

The track after Bird Balloon is spun around a banjo and belongs on a porch. You could see her playing this at an awards show sitting a stage by herself. And then at about 3 minutes, a curtain would rise the rest of the band kicks in. A few songs later, Rooftop shows she can knock out a three minute radio friendly song.

I included videos of the aforementioned tunes where she performs them solo with an electric and banjo. Her talent is limitless. I’m infatuated with Aly Spaltro and Lady Lamb the Beekeeper. Mark my words, if she keeps churning albums like this, she will be mentioned amongst indie greats like Sharon Von Etten, Annie Clark

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

donavan February 16, 2013 at 8:26 am

Very nice album with so many nice songs.
denton independent label

MyMusic February 24, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Ripely Pine is an amazing album. Aly’s voice and the musical arrangements are beyond beautiful. Whoever engineered the album did so to near perfection. This is a definite contender for the Top Album of 2013 crown.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: