Review by Shannon Shumaker
There’s an undeniable carefree and charming quality about Wardell’s new album Love/Idleness that makes it impossible not to fall in love with. Right away, you’re drawn in by Sasha Spielberg’s beautiful singsong vocals and a key part in “Funny Thing” that compliments her voice perfectly, and by the time the chorus comes in, you’re bound to be lost in the music. Love/Idleness feels like lazy, warm summer afternoons, and it only gets better as the album moves forward.
“Dancing On The Freeway” is the second song on the album, and it is much more upbeat than the opening track, with an almost Tegan And Sara sound to it. The track is incredibly danceable, easy to listen to, and sure to put you in a good mood (and maybe make you wish it was just summer already.) Following “Dancing On The Freeway,” is the slower, more laid back title track. “Love/Idleness” hoses a simple yet memorable catchy opening guitar hook and easily some of the strongest vocals on the album. This song is kind of a slow jam and sounds relatively simple, but not to the point where it’s dumbed down. It progresses very naturally, as well, becoming more upbeat and full sounding toward the end of the track.
The great thing about Love/Idleness is its versatility. While the album as a whole absolutely has a solid, established sound, each song is strong in its own aspect. “Dancing On The Freeway” is upbeat and catchy, “Love/Idleness” hosts some incredible vocals, and the emotion in slower songs like “Virgina, Wait,” and “Act My Age” is palpable. On top of that, the guitar work in “Uptown Era” and “Opossum” is a total stand out. There are definitely some songs that are a little mellow and drowsy, but without getting too boring or fading into the background - see “Uptown Era.” For the most part, every song on Love/Idleness shares a warm and easy to listen to quality, which makes the album flow very well.
The charming sound that opens Love/Idleness only seems to get stronger as the album progresses, and by the time is slows down with the final two tracks, “Opossum” and “Pray to the City” you’re bound to feel lost in the music. “Pray to the City” is the perfect closing track to the album, as it encompasses nearly every sound on Love/Idleness, starting off slow and simple, transitioning into some gorgeous vocal runs before picking up the pace and becoming upbeat and poppy, much like the second track. Love/Idleness is incredibly well balanced, with a little bit of something for everyone.
Listen to "Dancing On The Freeway" or "Funny Thing"