PHOTO CREDIT John Michael Fulton // DOWNLOAD HIGH-RES
“Jimi Hendrix said you need fantasy,” says Toronto artist, composer, and producer Lydia Ainsworth, “to see reality more clearly.” On her sublime second album, Darling Of The Afterglow, Ainsworth upholds Hendrix’s wisdom in the best way. Vividly imagined and richly felt, the follow-up to Ainsworth’s JUNO-nominated Right from Real is an album of intimate emotions projected in heightened widescreen, where yearning pop classicism and classical smarts merge with other-worldly synthetic sounds and weird-gothic R&B influences.
Set for release on March 31 via Arbutus Records, Darling Of The Afterglow features the breathtaking first single “The Road”, as well as its equally gorgeous music video directed by Lydia’s sister Abby Ainsworth. The video premiered via NPR who claimed the track to be “an eerie, exquisite lullaby that drifts between delicate verses and mighty choruses driven by rich piano chords and electronic drums.”
For Ainsworth, Darling Of The Afterglow represents a great leap of confidence from her prodigious debut, whether she’s conjuring the crystalline harmonies and death’s-head rhythms of “The Road”, the lush earworm pop of “Ricochet”, or the small-hours reverie of “WLCM”. Blessed with an extraordinarily supple voice, Ainsworth commits herself fully on all fronts, honouring the words of “Afterglow” - ‘To play it safe is not to play at all’.
The haunting cover of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” is a test-case, embracing its vocal challenges live, Ainsworth relished stepping outside her comfort zone. “I usually have to be out of my element to get that spark of inspiration,” she says. The album title itself came to her while she was out of her element, explains Ainsworth, living near LA’s Echo Park - home to the Art Deco statue ‘Nuestra Señora Reina de Los Angeles’ (Queen of the Angels). “Walking around the lake just after sunset at a time when I was desperate for human connection, I found comfort in this statue. She gave me the inspiration for the lyrics to the song. It was as if she was singing them to me.” Darling Of The Afterglow is a bold, beautiful album from a voice ready to be heard.
Ainsworth will embark on a string of headlining tour dates throughout North America beginning on April 19. Full tour dates can be found below, and tickets can be purchased here.
DARLING OF THE AFTERGLOW TRACKLIST
1. The Road
2. What Is It?
5. Open Doors
7. Into The Blue
8. Wicked Game
9. I Can Feel It All
11. Nighttime Watching
4/19/17 - Washington, DC @ DC 9
4/20/17 - Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
4/22/17 - Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right
4/24/17 - Allston, MA @ Great Scott
4/25/17 - Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz PBD
4/26/17 - Toronto, ON @ The Garrison
4/28/17 - Chicago, IL @ Schubas
4/29/17 - Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St. Entry
5/2/17 - Seattle, WA @ Barboza
5/3/17 - Portland, OR @ Holocene
5/4/17 - Vancouver, BC @ Fox Cabaret
5/6/17 - San Francisco, CA @ Swedish American Hall
5/8/17 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo