LoneLady – Hinterland
Writing his Manifesto of Futurism in 1909, Fillipo Tomasso Marinetti stated his desire to sing the virtues of railway stations, factories, bridges, and an unhealthy amount of smoke. Manchester native Julie Campbell’s second album shows the aftermath of this idea, a tense and eclectic exploration from the margins of her post-industrial city, pooling inspiration from post-punk, 80s dance and funk.
Campbell’s choppy guitar harmonics and propulsive drum machine rhythms remain as distinctive as ever, five years after her debut. However, Hinterland sees her reaching for a richer, more playful sound this time, mashing cello stabs with Stevie Wonder-inflected bass in the title track and gradually ramping up Groove It Out from its percussive opening into a joyous, mesmerising six-minute techno thump with burbling synths.
Despite the perpetual motion of Hinterland’s first half, it’s when things slow down that Campbell’s haunting conceit really comes through. Flee! is a real outlier, a spare elegy pervaded by clanks and a sickly cello drone. "Remember," she cries, but it’s clear that the engines have long burnt out, a feeling only reinforced by the nervy Red Scrap, which finds Campbell reflecting on ghost trains and corrugated iron. The points of reference on Hinterland may be remnants now, but Campbell’s still singing of them, reviving them in her own way.