Silver – Ejecta
36:15 min • Driftless Recordings • November 15, 2013
Andrew Darley reviews
Adopting their name from volcanic dust that settles after its eruption, Ejecta is appropriately a new beginning for Leanne Macomber and Joel Ford. After years of performing with Neon Indian and conducting her own four-track bedroom experiments, Macomber has discovered her voice is ready to make her statement in the world. Like a volcano, Ejecta has been bubbling under for some time; a number of the songs on this album were written seven years ago, existing as demoes until now. Leanne met Joel Ford (noted for his work in Tigercity and his split namesake Ford & Lopatin) whilst on tour with their respective bands and believed there was chemistry in the pairing, both as people and artists. Afterwards, Leanne sent him a rough-and-ready cut of ‘Silver’ on which Ford used his production skills and critical eye to transform it into the song that sparkles on their debut, Dominae.
What is instantly striking about this album is its unashamed honesty. The album deals with love, loss and adulthood; containing lyrics that are gorgeously sobering. Leanne sweetly sings “I knew people were awful but I gave you a try” on ‘Silver’. It is this line that is elegantly simple, yet its emotionally loaded, that echoes throughout the entire record. Ejecta explore the intensity and risks of falling in love and the vulnerability we leave ourselves open to, in order to connect with others. It’s no surprise that, in explaining the album’s theme, Macomber said she embodied the character of a woman who represents and bares her inner struggles, hence being photographed nude for the album’s artwork.
Dominae captures several universal feelings we counter in life; the rush of getting to know a partner on ‘Beast’, the unrequited of ‘Jeremiah (The Denier)’ and the truly haunting ‘Eleanor Lye’ expresses the death of a close friend. The warm synthesizers that rise up on ‘Afraid Of The Dark’ soundtracks the sound of someone, broken by love, who is building up strength to protect themselves in future. It’s clear why the pair believed there to be a creative bond on first meeting. Leanne’s intense and often hard-hitting lyrics are balanced by Ford’s precise and thoughtfully polished synth pop productions.
Although they create moments of delicate weightlessness, one of the album’s surprises and strongest songs is when it takes a sharp turn on ‘Small Town Girl’. Telling the tale of revenge, the song thunders in with an aggressive drumbeat as Leanne sings of how she desires to see her former flame six feet under, as she searches for a spot to dig his grave. Her acerbic lyrics of her imagined lover’s death is as much unnerving as it is captivating. Her soft vocal delivery throughout the album is a comfort and her lyrical ability grasps the feeling of being heartbroken in a very authentic way.
Dominae is an accomplished album built on the tension and insecurities of relationships. The music they have created together bears both the pain of experience and an endearing, youthful innocence. Something special exists in the sincerity of the words and how they come together with the backdrop of synthesizers and drumbeats. It’s an energetic and uplifting event that feels like receiving a reassuring hug from your closest friend following a bad experience. On their first record, Ejecta have captured the cruelty and kindness of falling in love.