Lush Purr – Cuckoo Waltz
If you like your noise pop lo-fi, off-kilter and a bit rough around the edges, Lush Purr have got your back. Their debut album Cuckoo Waltz is testament to this, combining a dreamy atmosphere with clanging guitars and obscure lyrics to create an experimental sound clearly indebted to shoegaze bands like My Bloody Valentine, where softly mumbled lyrics float over a loud cloud of sound.
While tracks like Bananadine and Bear at Midnight mix unexpected synth textures and suddenly shifting dynamics, I, Bore and Mr Maybe are smoother and more sedate, proving that the band is capable of producing variety even from within a very specific musical genre. Furthermore, an irreverent sense of humour – immediately evident from song titles like Horses on Morphine – gives tracks a distinctive edge and stops the album from being too serious.
However, Cuckoo Waltz is something of an acquired taste. Transitions between songs often feel a bit too sudden, even jarring, particularly where the fade-out at the end of (I Admit It) I’m a Gardner meets the droning synth of Bear at Midnight. Often lyrics are barely discernible over the loud backing and while this is natural for their style, it's not so good if you like having words you can sing along to.
Cuckoo Waltz hits some bum notes – Stuck in a Bog springs to mind – but it's an album you can listen to again and again, one whose shimmering distortions offer up moments of sublime sonic beauty for those willing to listen for them. Cuckoo Waltz can only be enjoyed if you appreciate each song individually. Indeed, it’s tempting to think that opening track Wave is an instruction to let each song wash over you — to submerge yourself in the album, rather than half-heartedly put it on in the background.
Listen to: Bananadine, Mr Maybe, I, Bore
Buy Lush Purr - Cuckoo Waltz on LP from Norman Records