Bubbling under the surface of Magik Markers has always been a pop heartbeat and it was probably no closer to the surface than on their last album, Surrender To The Fantasy. Still, it seems as if the band's Elisa Ambrogio sought to rip it out completely and sew it to her sleeve with the release of her first solo album. There's little scuzz, other than the occasional bit of fuzz stuck to a guitar line or the general closed curtain ambiance of the bedroom recording style. Instead of noise Ambrogio works her way through pop songs that fall less indebted to the usual MM style-guide of Sonic Youth clangor and more so to Thurston Moore's solo recordings of late. By all appearances this seems to be Ambrogio's scratchpad of relationship anxiety dreams, tumbling from self-doubt to regret, with usual stops off at anxious and exhausted. Its a rather well rounded exploration of love's wounds and Ambrogio delivers all her scarred expositions in smudged sighs that paint her as a decorated veteran of relationship foxholes - though she makes the war stories a hell of a lot easier to take with a torn veil of 90's rock in her pocket and a curl of smoke in her delivery.
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