Lydia Ainsworth – “Sparkles & Debris”
Next month, the Toronto oblique-pop tinkerer Lydia Ainsworth will follow up her 2019 album Phantom Forest with a new one called Sparkles & Debris. In the past, Ainsworth’s music has been all her voice and her electronics. On the new album, though, Ainsworth adds guitar, bass, and drums. But that hasn’t made her songs more conventional; she’s still operating on her own hazy-but-catchy plane. Ainsworth has already shared the early tracks “Forever” and “Parade,” and today, she’s dropped the album’s title track.
“Sparkles & Debris” started out as an instrumental collaboration with the Stranger Things composer and S U R V I V E member Kyle Dixon. Ainsworth takes that track and layers her own delirious harmonies all over it, and she transforms it into something that reminds me a bit of early-’00s teen-pop — or, at the very least, like a bedroom-pop approximation of early teen-pop.
In a press release, Ainsworth says that the story is partly based on the Greek myth of Arachne: “Ovid’s myth offers an allegory for our era of obfuscation, when lies spread faster than the truth to benefit those in power. I love this myth because Arachne stands up for her art, and she doesn’t back down to pressures of society or the gods in power.” Listen below.
Sparkles & Debris is out 5/21 on Zombie Cat Records. Pre-order it here.