Produced by Greg Haver and recorded at Christchurch’s Quicksand Recording Studios, Libeau ’s album debut is a slick, well-produced affair driven by brooding synths, huge percussion and lush vocal layers. She has a big and confident voice.
Opener 11:11 unfurls with the lyric, “It’s like a subconscience is knocking on the skull below. Hello? Is there anybody in there?” It wastes no time getting to the hook with an ascending repetition on ‘hello’, and diminished thirds abound throughout the song, creating an interesting tension.
It’s obvious that this album has been really cared for with intricacies woven into and throughout the entire collection. The title track features an acoustic guitar and passing, low minor seconds on either a synth or double bass which make the song really stand out. Sailor Boy is underpinned by an extremely catchy bass hook that reappears at just the times you feel it should, while the smooth vocal is contrasted with squarewaves. Them Birds includes a fantastic sample from a documentary called Searching For The Wrong Eyed Jesus, in which is muttered something about spitting in someone’s mouth.
Overall Natalie Libeau’s soulful vocals, careful arrangement, big percussion and varied instrumentation make this a very interesting pop album rewarding repeat listens.