Lydia Burrell - Everything
“Lydia Burrell is the solo outing from former Kangaroo member and composer Alexander Smith, who created Burrell as a character in a screenplay. If this album is a soundtrack, the role Burrell plays here is one of an unobtainable object of desire to that of Smith’s solitary, jilted lover. He’s left to ask questions without clear answers.”
— Mat Herron (Leo Weekly)
Removador Recordings and Solutions, the record label co-founded by My Morning Jacket frontman Yim Yames and former MMJ guitarist Johnny Quaid, released “Lydia Burrell”, the debut effort from producer Alexander Smith under the moniker Lydia Burrell. The album is a juxtaposition of richly detailed electronic production and his earnest voice. Aside from recording and production assistance from Yames and another friend, Ben Mundane, the collection of songs is a DIY affair, entirely the product of Smith’s creation.
Smith has been writing and performing music since high school. His interests led him eventually to pursue a masters degree in music theory and composition from University of Louisville. Taking the name from a character in an abandoned screen play, Smith eventually chose “Lydia Burrell” as his musical persona when he began experimenting with electronic music. The unique influences of Smith’s life are felt in the music. He has spent the last eight years building, tuning, and maintaining church pipe organs. “It’s stimulating to work with your hands and satisfying to play a part in how an enormous and complex instrument sounds,” says Smith. “I think it’s helped me to understand and appreciate the craftsmanship and process of building things.”
“Lydia Burrell” reflects the complexity of the organs Smith tunes. He calls the recording process a “trial and error” affair, the creation of an amalgam of sounds that eventually carves itself into song. Tracks such as “Lostma” and “Space (Never Enough Time)” build layer upon layer of industrial electronica, only to reveal a haunting melody hidden underneath. “Ring” showcases a songwriter using a gift for pop to establish that this is ultimately a record of loss and heartbreak. Smith notes, “it’s a product of that weird feeling of limbo when one thing that you were consumed with ends, and then you find you’re waiting for something else, even though you’re just back where you were.” It’s a great metaphor for the record… Finish the album at “Everything” then begin again with “Noiseamber,” discovering more in each song upon every listen.