You’ve got to admire the bravery of someone who can take their name from the title of a Sylvia Plath poem and just keep on going as though it’s no big deal. However, as much as Lady Lazarus is an artist that is based on the ability to stand tall, this is the project of woman with a heart tender and talent both penned in and without boundary. The work is done with two primary tools – a piano and a voice, with only minor embellishments thereon in.
The beauty and the tension of the work comes from the audicious simplicity of it all, with simple melodies and patterns forming the basis for entire songs, lyrics usually consisting of a snippet of a poem scattered over the top of this scant bed. Somehow, the limited skill on piano, the broken voice, the fuzz and rattle of the recordings is what holds it all together, adding the vitality that production or lightening quick fingers would soon strip away. People might be quick to stick comparisons to Regina Spektor all over this, but it’s the heart wrenching charm of Perfume Genius that looms largest over this. Whatever the contemporaries, whoever the inspirations, it seems unlikely that Lady Lazarus is the kind of woman who cares – or, perhaps, would even be aware.