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Anthony Carew

Introducing: Little Scream

By January 24, 2011

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Name: Little Scream
From: Montréal, Québec
Story: Sad songwriter draped in Arcade Fire orchestrations
Sound: Melancholy acoustic tunes cresting at wild crescendo

On her debut album as Little Scream, Iowa-born, Québec-based Laurel Sprengelmeyer comes across as anything but another female singer-songwriter. With production and added instrumentation from Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire —and members of Arcade Fire, Bell Orchestre, and Silver Mt. Zion amongst the players— Sprengelmeyer's often-quiet songs build up to cresting, crashing thunderstorms of bold, brutal noise.

The Golden Record boasts some genuine moments of unexpected productional flourish: "Your Radio" multi-tracks Sprengelmeyer's voice over church organs until it sounds like some indie Pet Benatar; "Red Hunting Jacket" explodes with percussion, stomps, and fluttering flutes; and "Hallowed" closes out with a field-recording of a rainstorm and wind-chimes, with an eerie, ghostly flourish of "Land of Hope and Glory" blowing past on the breeze. This makes for an album whose richness goes beyond Sprengelmeyer's countryish voice and melancholy tone.

The Golden Record comes out April 12 on Secretly Canadian, and Sprengelmeyer will be in Austin to play a bunch of shows at SXSW. Thereafter, she leaves on a month long North American tour supporting Sharon Van Etten. For anyone who finds themselves touched by stark, sad, slightly-strange singer-songwriters, that's a double-bill to treasure. Large Tour:
February 1: Kingston, ON - Grad Club
February 2: Peterborough, ON - Red Dog
February 3: Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern
February 4: Ottawa, ON - Mavericks
March 10: Toronto, ON - The Opera House
March 11: Montréal, QC - Le National
March 12: Québec City, QC - Le Cercle
March 16-20: Austin, TX - SXSW
March 22: Tucson, AZ - Solar Culture
March 23: Phoenix, AZ - the Rhythm Room
March 24: San Diego, CA - Soda Bar
March 25: Los Angeles, CA - The Satellite
March 26: Costa Mesa, CA - Detroit Bar
March 27: San Francisco, CA - The Bottom of the Hill
March 29: Vancouver, BC - The Media Club
March 30: Portland, OR - Doug Fir
April 1: Boise, ID - Neurolux
April 2: Salt Lake City, UT - The State Room
April 3: Denver, CO - The Walnut Room
April 4: Omaha, NB - Slowdown
April 6: Minneapolis, MN - The Cedar Cultural Centre
April 7: Milwaukee, WI - The Pabst Theater
April 8: Madison, WI - The Rathskellar
April 9: Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
April 10: Cleveland, OH - Beachland Tavern
April 12: Toronto, ON - The Drake Hotel
April 13: Montréal, QC - Casa Del Popolo
April 14: Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
April 17: Washington, DC - The Red Palace

Photo © Guillaume Simoneau

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