Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on The Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Billions of Eyes” by Lady Lamb from the 2015 album After on Mom + Pop.
With her loquacious lyrical style and penchant for unpredictable, lengthy song structures, Aly Spaltro (a.k.a. Lady Lamb) emerged from Portland, Maine, in the early 2010s with a fully-developed songwriting voice. Spaltro’s earliest songwriting exercises as Lady Lamb The Beekeeper (she dropped the latter part of her moniker earlier this year) were written in the video store she worked at. After the store closed, Spaltro would pull out her musical equipment from behind the counter and work on songs until the next morning. A series of self-released recordings made Spaltro a staple of the Northeastern live circuit, and in 2013, some of those songs, as well as some new ones, were collected and polished as her debut album, Ripely Pine. That album opened the door for Spaltro to tour more extensively, and after spending time on the road with Torres and Neko Case (among others), Spaltro returned to her home in Brooklyn to complete work on her second album, this year’s After. “Billions of Eyes” was released as the album’s lead single, and it’s easy to see why: it’s one of Spaltro’s most direct, pop-oriented tunes and earns that distinction without losing any of her wordy charm. The twinned guitar/vocal melody leads into each of Spaltro’s stream-of-consciousness verses, covering anxiety, affection, and the relief of making your train on time. By the time the song reaches it’s celebratory climax, Spaltro has run through a plethora of crashing dynamics and words, and she seems exhausted but satisfied, riding the same kind of high as the one she gets when she makes her train.
Lady Lamb will embark on another run of dates behind After in July, including her next stop in the Pacific Northwest at Musicfest NW. Keep up with Aly at her Facebook and website, and watch her perform “Billions of Eyes” live at KEXP earlier this year.