Aly Spaltro, known to the masses as Lady Lamb, manages herself, but most of all, she challenges herself. Her second full-length, After, is 12 songs of radio-friendly, bright-eyed folk pop, but it's a departure from her previous long-winded efforts.
"I arranged the drums on the record, which was a new thing for me and quite a challenge, but something I wanted to tackle," the singer-songwriter says when we call her. "Another thing was to be more concise, so it was a pretty conscious effort to write music that more direct and shorter and a little bit punchier and poppier -- as poppy as a Lady Lamb song could be. I'm also not really one for writing choruses, which is exactly why I wanted to write a couple, just because it doesn't come easy to me."
Originally, Ms. Spaltro's moniker was Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, but trimmed the sobriquet she says because she felt it was "clunky." Despite the earnestness of her songwriting, some of it is fictional. So, no, she's never bred honeybees and despite writing a song called "Dear Arkansas Daughter," she's never been to the state in question.
"I dunno why I dreamt that up," Spaltro admits about the heavy, Florence and the Machine-influenced song. "Arkansas is a mystery to me."
However, there is still plenty of truth to Lady Lamb's lyrics, which lends to some healthy ambiguity. For example, the line from "Billions of Eyes," describing how Spaltro's great grandmother's sister was deemed a saint and buried in the Vatican is 100 percent bona fide.
"Yeah, that's totally true," Spaltro says. "At least a hundred years ago or more, one of the great, great aunts in [my] family died when she was a little girl. She was maybe 9 or 10 and her body was exhumed to be moved to a different location and they found that she hadn't, you know, like decomposed at all ... they exhumed it again just to see if they were crazy or not, and she still hadn't decomposed at all, so they deemed her a saint and they buried her in the Vatican."
"Sully is such a good word," Spaltro adds. "I use that word because it's less offensive than saying like she rotted or whatever. It's a little tamer of a word."
Additionally, the line about catching geckos and keeping them as pets on the more mellow "Ten" is also a true story about growing up in Glendale, Arizona as a kid.
"I'm a Mainer at heart, but I spent a lot of my childhood in the Southwest and Arizona, so when I come back there I feel very comfortable there," Spaltro tells us. "I just remember loving the warmth and the cactuses in the desert and just being a happy little kid, running around, playing outside."
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