Little Scream, The Golden Record

Arye Dworken

By Arye Dworken

on 03.11.11 in Reviews

After one listen to Laurel Sprengelmeyer's debut, the paradox behind her alias becomes clearer. In order for something to sound urgent and raw, it doesn't necessarily have to be shouted. Sometimes, potency can emerge from soft restraint.

Urgency and rawness that don’t have to be shouted

Little Scream's Golden Record is feathery yet substantive, a haunting album that delivers a near-boiling reserve. The dirge-like "Boatman," for example, features an intermittent muddy guitar, while Sprengelmeyer's voice floats lithely above those angsty riffs. It's yet another example of a seeming contradiction — the ugly intermingling with the beautiful and blending together harmoniously. "The Heron And The Fox," the album's most straightforward folk song, conjures Kate Bush and Joanna Newsom, both artists known for their equal parts earnestness and distinctiveness. Like them, Little Scream too has her way with the childlike coo granting the overall aesthetic a tender naïveté.

"Your Radio," however, is the one composition on the album that feels like the Montreal-based folk singer may be building to that scream, but it backs off suddenly, ending in an oceanic wash of feedback. Sprendelmeyer knows the real power is in composure.