Dreamy tuneful progressions and humility of style blend throughout the songwriting strengths and lyrical musings of Ligaya Escueta’s wonderfully enjoyable album Laughing In Milk.
The raw presentation and quickly engaging melody and images appeal from the outset for that indie edge akin to the likes of The Eels and Cavetown – both with whom similarities can be drawn across the project. However, it’s a subtle trait, because in reality Ligaya Escueta brings an unmistakable identity to modern music – the vocal tone, these stories, thoughts, the harder switches from delicacy of folk to intensity of rock.
The opener is all of this, and kicks off the Laughing In Milk collection with an absolute anthem of increasingly addictive passion and weight. Even the humble sound of a dog barking towards the end of the home-made recording reinforces that authenticity of process, and makes the album all the more likable.
While the voice in both tone and lyric maintains a thread of definitive character, the musicality varies just slightly throughout. The organic indie set-up continues to provide a genuine, live-style backbone – The End is again gentle and heavy intermittently – but now with retro distorted synths lighting up the main descending melody, and the bass and drums dancing beautifully alongside this.
We also get an acoustic rise and fall pattern reminiscent of 1997’s Kiss Me, before a personal, intimate and again melodically alluring The Summer Song ponders the present and the times ahead.
Afterwards, contrast works its magic some more, for the harder-rock and almost grunge-ready escapade that is She, preceding a gorgeously heartfelt and softly acoustic 12-Sided-Die – a deeply poetic, melancholic and moving highlight; brilliantly enchanting and easy to lose yourself within.
At the penultimate moment, Living is a Dying Art draws further focus towards the fearlessly contemplative and beautifully artistic writing style of this creative. The simple arrangement proves again hypnotic, and alongside that the lyrics provoke thought and invite the listener to consider these same confronting realities. Slowly but surely, the music gathers momentum, and ultimately peaks for an explosive latter half that screams out on behalf of uncertainty. Another definite highlight.
Grunge-esque tones and intensity return for an equally explosive instrumental closer in the form of Epilogue. The live style and the versatile arrangement of the album represent the artist and band in their truest state, and as such – the promise of a live show is broadly intriguing.
There’s a refreshingly honest and pure quality to this playlist, and it’s a joy to turn up loud and either connect with on a deeply human level, or simply rock out to.