THE ALBUM shudders into abrupt life with a low growling of 'wall of sound' guitars, then everything quietens, and over a steady beat, a voice intones: "Following a lead of all my debt/I sense violence and know you're still a threat."
Then comes the chorus, a glorious, huge, sound, with the vocals now higher, and declaring: "You are the reason my heart broke behind my back." As opening tracks go, 'Destroyer' is one of the best, if not the best, of an indie rock record, or any record, in 2018.
The Lamb is the second album by Anglo-American singer-songwriter Lillie West. This is guitar driven indie - and there is some impressive guitar work here - , with touches of punk, that revels in the quite/loud aesthetic ('I Get Cut' ), an ability to craft a great chorus or hook, a strong sense of atmospherics and off-beat melody ('Moth', 'Scary Movie' ), and a sense of the dramatic, with West's voice sounding at times, sullen and downbeat ('Flu' ), at other times rising high and majestically, often in the same song, with the delivery always apt and appropriate to the moment (eg, 'Dove' ).
West's music draws strongly on 1990s American indie and DIY, but its point of view is deeply personal, sometimes harrowingly so, and it feels very modern, very now, like the kind of album a 24-year-old should make. This is indie rock of a high order. I can't say enough good things about it. Listen, and you'll understand.