After a stint as the White Witch of Foxygen, Globelamp aka Elizabeth Le Fey, continues to cast spells on her sophomore effort, The Orange Glow. The by-product of a year from hell caused by a difficult breakup, plus the death of her best friend, Glow is brimming with Le Fey’s raw emotion. A captivating, psychedelic folk album, it combines dashes of celestial and white magic imagery with free-form songwriting, resulting in songs that sound more like incantations. “The Negative” sounds like she’s trying to conjure up the dead, while “Don’t Go Walking In The Woods Alone At Night” could be a hex for her ex-lover. Le Fey’s nymph-like voice, overdubbed to haunting effect, goes from a whisper to its full, hair-raising power, often in the same line; a sign of the turmoil and anger underneath her ethereal surface.
The album is deeply personal, with Le Fey using music to come to terms with the drastic changes in her life. “You’ll know the real point of art and poetry/is to somehow connect to the mystery” she sings on “Artist/Traveler,” a kind of anthem for free-spirits and vagabonds, with Le Fey painting herself as an acid-dipped Stevie Nicks. The range of Le Fey’s emotions are explored amongst songs like “Master of Lonely,” a biting breakup song, whose sparse instrumentation makes bleak lyrics like “The wonderful colors of loving you/have all turned to gray” all the more cutting, or the thunderous “Piece of the Pie,” the most venomous track on the album, with grunge-y, crunchy guitars and an irate Le Fey asking “How do you live with the lies you told/I know your soul will pay the toll.” Slightly more upbeat, “Controversial/Confrontational” sounds like a cousin to Siouxsie and the Banshees’“Arabian Knights,” and “Washington Moon” has a more wistful Le Fey reminiscing over surfy guitars and a gentle tambourine beat; the sonic equivalent of one of those rare overcast days in LA.
Even in these lighter moments, there is a gloominess, a churning undercurrent that gives the sparse songs an almost occult power. It isn’t until “Faerie Queen,” the album’s closer, that there is a true parting of the clouds, a moment of resolution, where Le Fey finally lets some light in. Amongst the babbling streams and chirping birds that lead to the faerie queen “who sits in the trees knowing what will be, will be,” she has found some kind of peace.
For fans of: Frankie Cosmos, Girlpool, Foxygen, Stevie Nicks