Even though she performs under the name Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, Aly Spaltro proves with her debut album Ripely Pine the she is no lamb to be led around.
Spaltro taught herself to write music and sing, and until now has been releasing music recorded out of her home in Brunswick, Maine, and selling her work in little homemade bundles at the local Bullmoose Record Store. But now she resides in Brooklyn, N.Y. and will soon be releasing her first professionally recorded album.
“Love is selfish / Love goes tick-tock, tick-tock, tick / Love knows Jesus / Apples and oranges,” Spaltro sings sweetly in the opening track “Hair To The Ferris Wheel.” At only 23, you wouldn’t expect such soul and power in her lyrics, but with five years of music experience she sure has found a way to find a powerful voice within herself. “It’s a zoo in your room when you part your lips / And you long to kiss like you won’t exist / Come the morning time,” she continues as the song picks up and swiftly becomes more intense . The song goes back and forth between light bursts of sweet guitar and beautiful acappella to driving drums and a heavier guitar riff. Spaltro masterfully balances the two styles and creates a truly unique listening experience. The mood of the music affects how you take in the lyrics throughout.
I wish I could go into great detail about every single track, because they’re all standalone works of art. “Bird Balloons” is an upbeat soulful song as Spaltro sings at full volume with zero difficulty. “I’m a ghost and you all know it / I’m singing songs and I ain’t stopping,” she practically yells, her voice husky with emotion. And then on “Little Brother,” she seems to channel Adele’s deep, slow-paced, sorrowful style. Spaltro can do whatever she wants on a track and it’s all fantastic.
Ripely Pine is evidence of an artist finally getting a chance to do what she wants with her music. While Spaltro has been making music for a while, a makeshift home studio is no replacement for a professional recording studio. Her talent was finally recognized by someone with some resources, and now that she has so many tools at her disposal, there’s no limit to her creativity. As much as Portland’s music scene will miss her regular high-energy live shows, we know it is time to let her go. Spaltro is already creating great music, and this is just the beginning of her career.