When I first hit play on The Ropes, I wasn’t too sure…and I’m still not quite sure, but perhaps that’s the goal. I thrive in complexity, so let’s do this.
I was thrown into an 80s catchy, dance-y, dark vibe kind of thing right off the bat, and once she began singing, her voice was a welcome compliment to my musical nostalgia. Now, something about me as a critic – I’m kind of picky when it comes to female vocalists. There’s rarely an in-between for me; it’s simply hit or miss. When it comes to light baby-voice type gals, my threshold is tested most – and she passed.
Upon first listen of Sadness Is the Poor Man’s Drug, I have to say it didn’t grab any particular hold of me, but the more I listened to it, I began to really appreciate the sound and ambiance it generates. In trying to avoid astronomy analogies in my reviews, I will say this would perhaps go nicely with a busy sci-fi montage where people are building robots for profit…which brings me to my next point; it’s provoking imaginative thought which is always good in my books.
Getting into “Maiden Coming” wasn’t too hard either with an even darker catchy vibe; and I really dig the indifference in her voice here, along with the lyrics, again provoking my imagination, but way more sinister in thought. It is a really chill track and gives that “woman with intent of revenge but has her shit well-planned out and together” vibe.
Then comes “I Am the Last Ghetto”. I’m sure those who love fast catchy pop with a bunch of fun sample effects and the aforementioned baby voice may dig, but this one I just couldn’t get into. To my ears, it was a bit too generic electro-pop sounding. However, the lyrical content was all but lost to me in this – she’s a deep soul from what I’m hearing, and I always appreciate that when it comes to music.
I reckon fans of Austra and Poe to name a few would dig this; the video for Sadness is A Poor Man’s Drug is worth checking out, it captured the vibe of the song well. I particularly enjoyed the cuts with the dog toy looking like a boss.
This was a fun ride. I shall provide some fun facts to close: UK trip-hop artist Tricky sampled The Ropes’ song “Love Is a Chain Store” for his track “Does It”, featured on his 2013 album False Idols. Also, according to their Facebook page, they’re located at the Halley Research Station in Antarctica, which is pretty badass.
Written by Angie Radczenko