Lydia - ...Illuminate (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


...Illuminate (2008)

Low Altitude

Lydia's certainly not for everyone, but if you can appreciate the emotionally heady type of occasionally grandiose indie pop Copeland has made waves for, …Illuminate is an enjoyable debut.

Copeland frontman Aaron Marsh actually makes two appearances here, playing some trombone on "All I See" and contributing some singing on "Hospital." Naturally, he gels into things perfectly.

It helps that "Hospital," in particular, is one of the better songs here. There's a slow churn and build with plenty of stop-starts and Leighton Antelman's always-androgynous voice mesermizingly cooing, "So I've been sleeping with this silence in my mind." The slight time change that happens when Antelman finds some grit and commands, "So stay and watch the hospital that's just across the street / from your apartment balcony" is pure brilliance. You wish there were a few more moments like this on …Illuminate.

This instance of perfect earnestness plays into Lydia's effect terribly well. The dynamic of the chorus transition for "I Woke Up Near the Sea" and, later on, the delivery in "Stay Awake" commands attention. The co-ed vocals give it an occasional cool contrast, as well, i.e. closer "Now the One You Once Loved Is Leaving."

...Illuminate is a very pretty and sometimes really moving album. It doesn't fire off pure sparkling emotion every second, but it's definitely got some inspired moments.

This Is Twice Now
Stay Awake
One More Day