Lilah Larson has been touring with Sons of an Illustrious Father since she was 17-years-old. Accustomed to deflecting attention toward her tour mates, Pentimento is a sprint out into the open. For her debut solo album, Larson Recorded at Montreal’s Hotel2Tango with Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Vic Chestnutt).
Lilah employs, of course, her own vocals, along with drums, and even a 19th-century pump organ to tell her evolving story. Excited for Pentimento to be brought into the world, here’s what Larson takes away:
“…what making music does for me — the space that it creates is a very queer space, and from early childhood that was very important to me because I was able to create my own context on my own grounds for my own gender performance. I think it’s very important to be visible as different and socially conscious.”
I personally loved the album, and after a few tracks, came to clearly understand the enviable comparisons Larson has drawn with Tom Waits and Patti Smith. Even the most cynical and critically minded would have trouble finding issue with the songwriting and storytelling talent in Pentimento.
“Tbh” was an early gem on the album, hitting fairly close to home in an intimate, but entirely relatable quip, Lilah singing: “I’m always / Already / Leaving you”.
“You Are” features an incredible build, bringing in droning guitars that beautifully mask a spectacular percussion line in the final minute of the song. This is a track you could share and feel confident in your musical tastes with.
“Dink’s Song” is particularly great: “You’ll look for me / But I’ll be gone” getting followed by a climbing vocal arrangement inevitably pierces your heart.
This is an album that is worth your listen. 4.5/5.