BLUES PILLS – Lady in Gold
Rarely do you find a band of twenty-something musicians begin a band in 2011 with the intent of producing music that has psychedelic, soulful rock at heart – that’s what we have here through this American-French-Swedish outfit Blues Pills. "Lady in Gold" is the group’s second album, featuring 10 more tracks that have pulse, vision, and building dynamics that revel in their 60’s / 70’s influences.
Vocalist Elin Larsson stirs up inner emotions in a Janis Joplin meets Aretha Franklin prism, reaching back for the right bluesy, soulful cocktail on the mid-tempo churner "Little Boy Preacher" or the Zeppelin-esque meets Cream-oriented "Bad Talkers". Zack Anderson’s progressive bass underpinning gives guitarist Dorian Sorriaux a lot of open ideas for filling the acoustic and electric air- giving off a Wild West motif for "Burned Out" while experimenting in wah-wah action on "Won’t Go Back". The 50-year old album cover (Marijke Koger-Dunham the artist) is given an updated color scheme while still embodying the psychedelic, soul, blues and rock montage Blues Pills embraces in their songwriting.
Each time my ears take in this album, there’s something new to behold. Deep organ strains, echoing piano parts, church-oriented background choir voices, Elin’s ease of switching up genres in the drop of a verse, and a rhythm section that maintains groove while also being slightly progressive in their abilities – "Lady in Gold" serves up 10 songs that while far away from Nuclear Blast’s normal metal roster, are indicative of the label’s ability to sign proper talent when there’s opportunity. A reason to be hopeful for the music scene in 2016.