Lady Lamb @ Club Cafe (April 13, 2019)

I sometimes have difficulty talking about things I love without feeling disingenuous. It’s not that I make things up—it’s just that the words I use can feel so insignificant compared to huge things they’re meant to describe.

I’m going to try here anyway, though, because holy hell do I love Lady Lamb.

The first time I saw Aly play was two years ago in Cleveland, in the back of an antique shop, strumming a banjo to a roomful of floor-dwelling strangers on her Tender Warriors Club living room tour. It was beautiful and intimate and everything I tend to look for in a live music experience, and solidified her position as one of my favorite artists making music today.

The Even in the Tremor tour is different. This tour gets the full band treatment, and it goddamn rips.

Aly’s music isn’t easy to categorize, which is one of the very best things about it. She can rock an acoustic jam with the best of them and then shriek and shred her way through six minutes of intricate indie rock goodness in the very next song. (Looking at you, “Bird Balloons”.)

What remains constant throughout is her empathy and intensity. She isn’t afraid to meander, to observe, to dig deep into the crux of a problem until she reaches a point of irrefutable, poetic clarity. In this, we are kindred spirits.

From my experience, you tend to weave in and out of infatuation with the things you love most. It’s not that you ever stop loving them; it’s that they become such a part of your life that you stop noticing so much, as familiar to you as the steady rhythm of your own heartbeat.

It took seeing Lady Lamb live again to remember just how much her music means to me. It brought me back to that very first listen, which I still remember distinctly after several years: walking home in a light rain after a string of emotionally devastating weeks, feeling the first few plucked lines of “Crane Your Neck” immediately cut through to a deep, animal part of me and open the door to healing. For that, I’ll always be grateful.

Aly Spaltro’s brand of vulnerability is something the world could use much more of. I’m happy to take those small moments of tenderness wherever I can find them.

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