Ninca Leece

There Is No One Else When I Lay Down and Dream

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French musician Ninca Leece's debut album is something both of its time and a fine example of it -- it's not simply that so many artists have embraced the full creative possibilities of the solo electronic pop approach, but that so many have done it so well with their own individual takes on the medium. Leece is not without forebears or sonic parallels, by any means; if anything, much of There Is No One Else When I Lay Down and Dream could almost be a release from Sweden or Norway, given those countries' enthusiastic embrace of simultaneously energetic and understated pop in general. Songs like "Touriste," which starts the album out in full, minimal glitch-pop mode, and "On Top of the World," at once a dash of '60s pop and 21st century bedroom techno, initially suggest that the full course of the album might be in such a vein. But as Leece's work continues, what stands out is the constant variety, how she brings in new elements to work within a general aesthetic almost track for track. Her enjoyable cover of the Cure's standard "Love Song," turning the keyboard melody into a distant chime and relying on electronic bass, reinvents the song as a tropical distraction much more effectively than 311's attempt some years previously. Meantime, the semi-whispered semi-spoken vocals on "The Beast" heralds some initial atmospherics building into a collage of beats and bells. The almost early-Seefeel-like rhythmic arrangement of the vocals on "Up to You" lead into a full-on electronic body music bassline on "The Uncut Version," and even the devastatingly simple and effective introduction of strings on the concluding "Like a Tattoo" reflect this album's quietly restless, creative spirit.

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