Lia Ices, Birthdays, gig review: Upbeat and impressive

The semi self-titled Ices takes things up a notch in every sense

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Kicking off a US tour on the tiny stage at Birthday in Dalston, Brooklyn singer-songwriter Lia Ices is gearing up for the release of her latest LP.

2011's Grown Unknown was less complex than this latest effort: the semi self-titled Ices takes things up a notch in every sense.

It's more upbeat, with dub step influences and the kind of slick production that recalls Sia's recent LP 1000 Forms of Fear. Ices' voice ranges impressively- at its most inviting as a lilting falsetto - and her lyrics are clear and precise. 

The instrumentation can throw the listener with its uneven pacing and over-embellishment, and there are few songs that really blow the audience away.

“Thousand Eyes” is wonderful, with eastern influences and a subtle contortion of the sound Ices went for in Grown Unknown, folding in meatier bursts of percussion, while “Higher” evokes the trippy, daydreamer tones of early Feist.

Her brother Elliot on guitar provides distorted welts of sound between the steady drumbeats.

For the most part, shimmering arrangements of synths and tech beats work well. Where Grown Unknown struggled to relax and settle into one particular sound, it feels as though Ices will gel better as a complete album.