Les Ailes blends genres and attitude with ‘Run’

‘Run’ opens with the sound of clinking, almost unsteady percussion. Cowbells? Cutlery against wine glasses? The faint sound of a bar being stocked? It’s an effectively tense opening for a gorgeously dark song about lovers who struggle to connect beyond the physical.

“You don’t wanna be here when the light is on”, croons Les Ailes, the cool antiheroine. “Run, baby, run.”

‘Run’ appears on the recently released ‘Tennessee’ album from Les Ailes, a.k.a American songwriter Rylie DeGarmo. It’s a dreamy, experimental little record, ranging from sweet ukeleles to jabbing bass. ‘Run’ is perhaps the most electronically influenced of the bunch – don’t be fooled by that percussive opening, once the quavering synths and overdrive guitars kick in, it goes from delicately acoustic to full of trip-hop attitude. DeGarmo constructs graceful, insistent melodies over a stomping kick. Distorted vocals add to that sense of intoxicating danger that is doomed love. I particularly enjoyed the unexpected, idiosyncratic production moments, which only enhance the identity.

With Les Ailes’ smooth singing, never trying too hard, and the quirky characteristics of the album, there seem to be some parallels to draw to other indie female singer-songwriters such as Fiona Apple. But I wouldn’t be too hasty – there’s some true identity to be had here, and fans of genre-blending should have a very good time listening to ‘Tennessee’.

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Words Eden Tredwell