Review by Kimmi Watson
Libra Libra played at LOUD WOMEN Fest 5 in 2021 but sadly I only caught their last song so was eager to hear their studio sound. Intriguingly described as a “chaotic postmodern Frankenstein’s monster”, LibraLibra release their second EP, this week and apparently it was:
“Incubated in the womb of a hysterectomy, mental collapses, breakups, loss, a global pandemic and existential dread, this self-produced release lays screaming in the operating theatre gasping its first breath. Through pain is growth, through death comes rebirth.”
Vocalist Beth Canon explains how the EP came to be:
“Modern Millennial’ was written in the midst of a full blown psychotic break. I hit a point in my life where everything came to a head, I didn’t know if I was alive or dreaming. I was my biggest failure. I was waiting for my ovaries to be ripped out of me, injecting my stomach with a giant needle, and I broke. The funny thing is I thought this was rock bottom. But I had only touched the surface.”
Having been there myself last year with both ovaries removed during the pandemic, whilst coping with angry hormonal imbalances, and anxieties, Libra Libra’s new EP had my fullest attention.
“Unable to hide, I wrote. Unable to explain to those around me, I wrote. Unable to understand my own truths, I wrote. And a collection of songs was born, which provide an insight not only into my personal horror show, but provide commentary on how systematically we are all fucked. For during my own personal breakdown, the world broke down too. I am not alone; collectively we are in dire straits, caught between power plays, at the mercy of right wing nutters, the Tories, the Royals, global nuclear warfare.”
The opening track ‘Candy Mountain’ unleashes a chaotic, thumping witty acerbic medicinal anthem that makes you feel better for having heard it.
‘Here’s to You Mr Robinson’ serves up an electro-glam space adventure with some gag worthy vocal harmonies, ensuring it is never to be confused with Simon & Garfunkel’s theme song for the Graduate.
‘Fancy Car’ is driven by its undulating bass line, with sexy backseat desires interrupted by angry guitar power chords as the true story unfolds.
‘Moonbeam’ is a frank and open monologue about the wasteland of information we are surrounded in. The band describe it as:
“about coming to terms with your inner demons, and understanding your illnesses which are better to talk about in therapy and to a doctor than they are to the echo chamber that is social media. It’s tongue and cheek, but there is a sense of seriousness that harks throughout that begs you to take a step back and look at yourself truly and get the help you need and deserve”
The final track ‘Alchemy’ is immense – a building optimistic pop art anthem which will simultaneously give you chills and hope. An empower ballad, if you like!
Modern Millennial has certainly has left me reflecting on the broken world we live in but feeling aligned with its messages.
As Gen X-er I am hearing strong hints of Karen O, Hazel O’Connor and Kate Bush in the vocal and keyboard arrangements. I’d be curious to know what modern millennials and Gen Zs hear when they explore this 5-track powerhouse of an EP, which is summed up by Beth as
“This EP is for anyone just trying to get by, to not make sense of it all, but to find some peace amongst the madness”
Modern Millennial is released via Aspiring Downwards today, days before their UK tour kicks off