wed 17/04/2024

Album: Laetitia Sadier - Rooting for Love | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Laetitia Sadier - Rooting for Love

Album: Laetitia Sadier - Rooting for Love

Strange and beautiful dream transmissions from the weird world of Stereolab

'The music is thrilling in its ability to sound entirely new and modern'

It must be kind of unreal living in the Stereolab universe.

A band of geeky introverts, beloved of the type of hairclip-and-satchel indie ultras a friend of mine used to call “the Scooby Gang” for their tendency to resemble Shaggy and Velma, over the past three decades they also became cool enough in fashion and celebrity circles to get multiple mentions in Bret Easton Ellis’s Glamorama, and etched into the very fabric of hip hop via fans like The Neptunes, J Dilla, Timbaland and Tyler, The Creator. 

Laetitia Sadier, one of the two sole continuous members of Stereolab along with Tim Gane, is just as paradoxical. She shows every sign of being extremely smart and urbane, but is also prone to borderline New Age musings, and in significantly kookier form has in the past sung the praises of the irony-poisoned conspiracy-contrarianism of Living Marxism (the magazine that injected the benighted Sp!ked axis of Brendan O’Neill, Claire Fox, Frank Furedi and co into public life).  

All of which might be deeply annoying, if it didn’t feed into music of equally bamboozling but utterly gorgeous unreality. This, her fifth solo album, is some of the best music yet to emerge from that Stereolab universe – with all the familiar elements of kitsch 60s French pop, minimalist composition, Krautrock and the most sublimated hints of 90s electronica all delivered with more finesse and elegance than ever. 

The music is thrilling in its ability to sound entirely new and modern while seemingly using only decades-old studio technology. And Sadier’s deadpan delivery never lets you know whether you’re hearing something erudite or nonsensical, earnest or arch. She’ll intone lyrics that reference her shiatsu healing practice, asking you to smile at your kidneys or some such, with the poise and assurance of a 1950s children’s TV presenter… and make it beautiful.

That’s the thing. This record is just beautiful. The rhythms sound like mathematical diagrams, there’s no knowing what Sadier is really on about, whether in English or French, the art-rock clichés abound – yet it is shot through with numinoisty, generosity, and the mathematical shapes form wonderful dream-like constellations. Having lived most of her life in the utterly bizarre Stereolab universe, Sadier is really, truly making the best of the hand she’s been dealt – and kooky or otherwise, making the music of her life.

@joemuggs

Listen to "Une Autre Attente"

Sadier’s deadpan delivery never lets you know whether you’re hearing something erudite or nonsensical, earnest or arch

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Editor Rating: 
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)

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