Published Jul 08, 2020Like Lou Canon's 2017 album Suspicious, the latest collection of songs by the Toronto-based singer-songwriter born Leanne Greyerbiehl is driven by dark synths and hushed vocals. Whirling with eerie naturalism and introspection, Audomatic Body is electronically centred but the sounds evoke being immersed in the wilderness — something that's felt particularly with the closing track, "For Life."
Alone but also very much not alone, the record grapples with questions of life and living: "I'm afraid of you, Mr. Death," she pants at the beginning of "Sleeper Wave," a slow-moving track where the phrase "say goodbye" is repeated innocently throughout. "M.O.T.R" creates the impression of being submerged under water, while the lyrics (referencing rivers and sea and finding your sexuality) make it feel less like drowning and more like embracing nature.
While the consistent sounds and moods occasionally come off as repetitive, blurring the songs into one, Audomatic Body has moments of energized captivation. "Next To You" shimmers with melancholic dreaminess followed by "We Fight Until We Feel," which features instrumentation that hops sparsely along. In "Invisible Desire," Greyerbiehl's vocals are breathy and high-pitched, while sad, sensual undertones complement the questions of intimacy.
Affection, romantic connections and getting lost within oneself and another are common themes throughout the album. In the single "Ancient Chamber," bubbling synths and restless electronic drum beats are paired with bright, echoing vocals. It's a voice that's reminiscent of St. Vincent's — alluring and neatly domineering, a woman owning her femininity.
While Greyerbiehl's voice is at the forefront, Audomatic Body also features the likes of Broken Social Scene/La Force's Ariel Engle, Hayden, and Arcade Fire's Tim Kingsbury — their appearances, and the album being recorded in various locations including Montreal, Toronto, Prince Edward County and a cabin in a Russian river, adds a greater sense of atmosphere to the proceedings. (Paper Bag)