A.L. Lacey is a classically trained pianist, vocalist and composer based in Bristol. Having collaborated with several established indie/folk artists (VMLV, Monsters Build Mean Robots, Snails, Martin Callingham, Andy Skellum and Cower to name but a few) across the years, Lacey finally grew confident enough to start recording her own solo-project, with a view to polishing and finessing the scrapbook of musical ideas she had created during ‘the lockdown years’. The result was christened Lesson – her debut album due to be released on Human Worth records in December 2023 (vinyl and digital download) with 10% of proceeds donated to Save the Children’s Gaza Emergency Appeal.
Crafting an avant-garde, ethereal chamber pop sound, drawing a wide range of influences from MBV, Phillip Glass and Scott Walker, the album aims to be a document of luxurious darkness that reflects Lacey’s unique approach to piano playing and vocal arrangements, with songs that appear to get bigger, louder and more sky-scraping as the seconds progress.
Of our video premiere, ‘Memo’, A.L. Lacey writes:
“The crux of ‘Memo’ is Sun Tzu’s well-worn phrase, ‘keep your friends close; keep your enemies closer’. It is, by far, the angriest moment on the album; written on a bleak February Sunday evening in ‘22, post-Covid, at a time when I was feeling particularly disenchanted with certain relationships. During that period, I had been listening to a lot of classical music and soundtracks (in particular, the Scott Walker masterpiece The Childhood of a Leader) which reflected my dour mood and no-doubt influenced the heavy handed writing of the piano-part.
“With ‘Memo’, I wanted to create the sense of motoring, detached urgency that, in my view, Baroque piano music lends itself to so well. When it came to recording, Jim Barr (who recorded, mixed and produced the album) understood the brief immediately and brought the thing to life – we created layers and layers of grating strings, bass pedals, vocal lines, and woodwind textures (all performed by myself), adding grandeur and dissonance, without allowing the piece to become like some horrendous classical caricature.”
Drector Gareth Thomas (USA NaIls) adds:
“Most of the commissions I get for videos are for noisy, angular, dirty bands, so I jumped at the chance of putting together this one for Alice as it was an opportunity to do something really different. It’s a really beautiful psychedelic number, so I overlaid slowed down and speeded up footage as I wanted it to all feel a bit jarring and delirious and drugged out. I wanted to try and make it feel like you’re falling through a toy kaleidoscope or prism or something.”