With its childlike cover art, intimate bedroom-recording style, and front woman Shana Levy's wispy, girlish vocals, Let's Go Sailing's full-length debut risks alienating anyone who detests preciousness. But while The Chaos in Order is a soft, small-scale affair, Levy's songs consistently find the universal in ordinary singer-songwriter topics: first loves, friendships, the weather. And, upon closer inspection, much of the album's resonance comes directly from her passive singing, capturing the silent frustration of a relationship going south on "We Get Along" and the permanent emotional chill of the seemingly chipper "Icicles." The music is never less than pretty stark piano, hushed strings, laidback guitars but it would merely be aural wallpaper if she didn't also cut through the usual diary-entry lyrical clichés that afflict most young artists. You won't find one clever turn of phrase, one bit of poetry, and that's all for the good: Levy seeks simple, direct communication that mimics the unpolished vulnerability of the casual conversations we have with those closest to us. Label her precious if you must, but as her paradoxical album title suggests, she understands the wells of anxiety that lurk beneath a placid surface.
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