Ball of Wax 45 Songs: Storm the Palace/Brite Lines/Emory Liu

Leave it to Storm the Palace to squeeze more technical skill into an opening piano chord than I will obtain in a lifetime; also note that vocalist Sophie Dodds, with whom, despite the fact the she’s a sophisticated Brit, I’ve consumed the great American beverage Wild Turkey inside the confines of Ballard’s Conor Byrne, shines as she delivers a pristine, soothing anecdote of the loneliness of a young woman and failed romance; as always for this group, maximum skill, minimum pretense.

There’s such power and clarity in singer Zach Gore’s delivery—my favorite Brite Lines tunes strip away arrangement to feature the vocals unadorned– and here he delivers straight away, delivering platitudes generously and honestly, the band supporting in proper jangly power ballad mode; the result is a “lullaby” that does the job of all lullabies, in that it attempts to sooth and reassure the singer.

Immediately following Brite Lines’ sheen is Emory Liu‘s “Fortunate,” a more shambled effort with god-bless-em hand claps—lo fi feels reassuring and essential when done right, as this track is, and presented between tracks with such polish, it’s a profoundly welcome honest scuff.

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