Edinburgh based Lainie & the Crows are clearly an outfit steeped in rich musical traditions, able to turn a deft hand to various genres.
On ‘Dream Away, the closing track from their Chemical Rest EP, they display their willingness to play around with both style and mood.
The track ambles into view with gentle acoustic guitar and wheezing harmonica, painting a somewhat forlorn picture.
As Lainie Urquhart’s vocals enter, they usher in warmer tones which contrast the stark instrumentation, with Urquhart possessing a voice which could hold its own in most any musical surroundings.
What unfolds is a tale of three doctors on the verge of pharmaceutical discovery, however the intertwined harmonies seem to hint at another form of chemical reverie, especially in lines which invite us to “withdraw from the world, and hide from the light”.
At this point the band change tact, deploying a propulsive sound with psychedelic flourishes that could effectively be teased out in a live setting.
Indeed with such tasteful musicianship and vocals on display, the only aspect detracting from the song is the lyrics, which at times are too earnest and storied.
That being said, Lainie & The Crows are off to an auspicious start, and with such a broad musical range to draw from, a debut album is an enticing prospect indeed.
Words: Brendan Sloan