Rising death gospel star Louise Lemón takes us to church with her tender heartfelt hymns crafted to soothe and elevate the soul.
Even though Swedish singer Louise Lemón has been crafting music since 2012; it wasn’t until last year’s début LP Purge that the death gospel star began to gain significant traction. It was with this first full length that Lemón pooled the standalone singles she had built up from the years before into one full length effort. The result, however, was sometimes lacking the coherence that comes from recording with the album format in mind. Fast forward a year though, and the Swedish songstress is back with a new offering. A collection of 10 brand new tracks, written solely for this album, and the difference is honestly night and day!
A Broken Heart is an Open Heart is a blending of her myriad influences. Implementing rich vintage instrumentation and multiple microphones conjures an atmosphere that is not only palpable, but enveloping. Album opener “Sunlight” soars majestically with its weighty vocal delivery. Like a dawn chorus the swelling guitars combine with Lemón‘s powerful vocal – a lesson in restraint, if ever there was one. Creating an enriching emotional blend that pulls the listener into her world.
Compositions like this is are always a delicate balance. A single misaligned texture, or overcooked vocal, can shatter grandiose audience immersion in a breath. Thankfully, that doesn’t occur here: less is more and less, in this case, is nothing short of magnificent. The composition of the tracks here bring to mind the psychedelic haze that originally gave life to the music of Fleetwood Mac; and whilst Lemón doesn’t have Stevie Nicks‘ characteristic grit, her sonorous voice pulls the listener into the record with such hypnotizing vigor that the only real response would be genuine awe.
The final one – two punch of “Almond Milk” and the title track, “A Broken Heart is an Open Heart” is a purely cinematic affair, The former – a maelstrom of sorrow, contrasts perfectly with the dusky bright hymn of the latter. Once again, Lemón‘s versatility; in both vocal and emotional ranges capture the tone perfectly and serve a fascinating dichotomy. Her vocals are augmented further when paired with the superlative guitar work that ebbs and flows, swells and crescendos in harmony with the emotional current of the songs. The album finale, in particular, takes an interesting credits rolling approach. The sonic form of light breaking through the clouds – depicting a moment of clarity after the torment that the narrative of the album delivers. That final resolution is piano driven and falls away into darkness, shimmering right until its final note is given over to the listener.
The core of A Broken Heart is an Open Heart is devotion, a fitting theme when you consider the amount of herself Lemón has committed to this, ensuring the listener becomes immersed in her vulnerability. The transition from the lo-fi Chelsea Wolfe worship of Purge to the lighter and more mainstream appeal of this new offering is an interesting progression for the artist. It demonstrates a level of maturity and evolution in her songwriting that feels incredibly human. Whilst we can tell the best is yet to come from Lemón, A Broken Heart is an Open Heart is essential listening for the emotional ones among us in in 2019. Open your heart.