The new LP La Grande by Laura Gibson pulls listeners in with its haunting but encapsulating sound.
La Grande is a great example of Gibson's take on folk, which holds its own against other Portland, Ore. artists, as well as those on the national level. This album marks her transition from opening to headlining artist.
The titular first track "La Grande" proves itself with a great mix of drumbeats and acoustic guitar to accompany Gibson's crooning voice.
"Skin, Warming Skin" is another well-wrought track in which Gibson's voice is reduced to a beautiful cooing, creating a different atmosphere than on the first track while the acoustic guitar continues to complement her vocals to the point of perfection.
"The Rushing Dark" feels like the accompaniment to a movie from the 1930s. Again, Gibson uses her guitar expertise to shock listeners with new and unfamiliar sounds.
"The Fire" adds a new burst of energy to her repertoire, featuring faster rhythms on the guitar as well as an organ. It's one of the fastest tracks and keeps the listener interested through the last part of the album.
The track "Time is Not" is probably the most "sing-songy" track on the album and, while interesting, strays from the general tone and weakens it as a whole. The sweet sounds of her guitar and voice make for a good listen, but ultimately this track would work better with another album.
The final track "Feather Lungs" comes in after "Time is Not" and makes for a well-crafted finish. While it has its flaws, Gibson has crafted a fantastic LP with La Grande.