Lorelei Roux is the latest incarnation of a multi-genre, multi-instrumentalist songwriter and producer based in Syracuse, New York. Regular readers of The Static Dive will remember her name from previous releases “Unstoppable” and “Go!” Those songs introduced a diversely talented musician and hinted at a broad musical palette. Read The Static Dive interview with Lorelei here.
“New & Improved” is the debut full-length album from Lorelei Roux, released worldwide to all major streaming services on December 23, 2021. The four sides of this epic 16-track adventure explore every corner of modern music. Hardly a genre goes uncovered. However, through all of the record’s permutations it maintains an undeniable creative spark that is uniquely Lorelei.
Side I opens on the beautiful lo-fi ambience of Lorelei Roux’s debut single “Unstoppable.” Read a full review of the song here. “You Left Me Dry” adds a little Funk to that Lo-Fi chill with a Jazzy breakbeat rhythm. Haunting vocals, guitars and keys give the track a cinematic, Ennicio Morricone vibe.
“Hot Tea (Cozy by the Abyss)” is an 8+ minute instrumental journey through which we hear the album evolve from organic to electronic. The song opens on an old-school Hip-hop drum loop and ends in a barrage of Synthwave arpeggios. “Jackson I Love You” takes an entirely different stylistic turn as a live ensemble of guitar, bass, piano and drums lays down low and cool Blues groove. That mood gradually morphs into experimental Indie Jazz/Rock.
“Suburban Nothing” introduces Side II with a laid-back guitar, bass and keys jam. “Can I Bum a Smoke” continues that theme. A slow drum and bass groove plays host to an ever changing cast of psychedelic keys and guitars. “Dream a New Life” features a wild mix of Glitch Trap beats, samples and live instrumentation. Meanwhile, a possibly robotic female voice recites The Grail Catechism, an oath for seekers of the Holy Grail. “Sorry None Here” closes the side, sounding like a long lost instrumental outtake from The Cure circa 1984. It is fantastic.
Side II explodes with “Go!” The rollicking instrumental pops with The Prodigy-style Electropunk energy. “Ignite” opens with that same vibe and pairs it with a beautiful Bjork-inspired performance from guest vocalist Scarlett Quinn. As the song progresses we take a journey through musical genres and cultures. Exotic Middle Eastern melodies and deep Dubstep bass swells dance together over wild time signature changes. Syncopated conga drums play hypnotic sub-rhythms around a hard Tech House heartbeat.
Lorelei Roux rarely stays in one genre for long. She takes us from Da Club to a smokey after-hours Jazz club on “Getting Slack with Kallisti.” However as soon as the song’s last ride cymbal fades, the station changes. Scarlett Quinn returns to close out Side III with “Circle Life,” a fabulous rhythmic Trip-hop groove with shades of Peter Gabriel-style Pop and Prince-worthy vocal experimentation.
“Clean the Garage ” opens Side IV with a head-spinning ride through Synthwave, Dubstep, Trance and Industrial Techno. Once that track has us fully hypnotized, Lorelei Roux sends us into the stratosphere with the red hot Rave banger “Dance Pet.” Always ready with a surprise, the eclectic producer is able to introduce Jazz-like complexity even into the four on the floor simplicity of a House beat. Both the beat and the experimentation continue unabated on the Electro-Pop flavored EDM of “Sweat.” Retro analog synths meet a driving beat on the Euro dance track.
The album closer “Bread Line” takes the record into whole new realms of experimentation. On the song Lorelei Roux mixes Alternative, Psychedelic and Noise Rock for a sound that lands somewhere between Joy Division, Pink Floyd and John Lennon’s “Revolution 9.” The track ends on the white noise and electronic cacophony that hovers in the background of our wired lives. That may be the story of this album. It is the sound of a deeply talented artist rendering a beautiful noise from an information saturated world.
Check out Lorelei Roux’s debut album “New & Improved” in its entirety below, or listen on your favorite streaming service. You can also hear the songs “Circle Life” on the Deep Indie Dive, “Can I Bum a Smoke” on the Deep Indie Chill and “Dance Pet” on the Deep Indie Dance playlist. Follow the links below to connect with the artist. Get on her socials and follow the journey of this exciting producer.