PHANTOM FOREST DUE OUT MAY 10
"Lydia Ainsworth doesn't so much subvert pop music, but skates around its edges... [She] blurs melodies and rote formats with a sense of mystery." - NPR
"Among pop music's experimental architects, Lydia Ainsworth has a unique knack for making grand sweeping gestures feel human." - PITCHFORK
"Ainsworth creates enough comforting fantasies to make us all feel at ease." - STEREOGUM
PHOTO CREDIT : Bryan Hyunh // DOWNLOAD HIGH-RES
Lydia Ainsworth, the acclaimed singer/songwriter/producer, announced her third album Phantom Forest today, due out May 10. The record, the follow up to 2017's Darling of the Afterglow and her first since relocating from Toronto to Los Angeles, is themed around the precarious state of nature in the modern world.
Today, Ainsworth shares the video for “Can You Find Her Place” and describes the track as "a song about Mother Nature's elusive yet powerful strength in the face of adversity. I'm singing a number of the songs on Phantom Forest from the perspective of Mother Nature and her views on humanity's hubris, however on 'Can You Find Her Place' I am using my voice as a kind of Greek chorus singing about where you can find her strength, setting the scene for Phantom Forest."
The ornate video, directed by Lydia’s sister Abby Ainsworth, was inspired by Botticelli's painting "Primavera", an allegorical representation of the burgeoning fertility of the earth in spring. Lydia notes: "The video features the Greek gods of the painting in a choreographed Baroque style dance."
The Fader calls the video "one of her catchiest compositions yet" and adds, "Ainsworth's vocals work in tandem to catch light and color from new and exciting angles."
Lydia Ainsworth's third album, Phantom Forest, introduces a lush, complex dream world that the singer, composer, and producer created and inhabited largely on her own.
Ainsworth produced Phantom Forest herself, and wrote all the songs with the exception of the closing track "Green Is The Color," a Pink Floyd cover, and "The Time" and "Give It Back To You," which she co-wrote with Kyle Dixon of Survive (Stranger Things).
Ainsworth, who's relocated to Los Angeles from Toronto since 2017's Darling of the Afterglow, explains that the collection revealed itself to her "as a play taking place in Mother Nature's vanishing home," aka Phantom Forest, and that she's singing from three perspectives: herself, Mother Nature, and Greek Chorus. For instance, of the album's opener, "Diamonds Cutting Diamonds," she explains: "The Greek Chorus sets the scene, narrating and offering direction on how to enter Phantom Forest. It's my hope that the listener will imagine the narration to be directed to them as well, as they begin the journey of the album."
In line with the classical and historical depths of Phantom Forest, Ainsworth, who holds a Masters Degree in film scoring composition from NYU and studied composition as an undergrad at McGill, notes that although the album might be considered pop, she approached it as an orchestrator. "Even if I'm dealing purely with synths," she says, "The songs are like a score, each one an evolving journey. I love to use strings so I've included my string arrangements on 'Tell Me I Exist' and 'Can You Find Her Place.' I recorded live musicians on drums, bass, and guitar on 'Edge of the Throne,' 'The Time,' and 'Floating Dream,' and wove those live elements into my programmed elements."
Phantom Forest is a beautiful, vast collection that mixes the historical and the hands on, with hooks about the apocalypse and people obsessively using face-recognition software to see what paintings their face match with, in search of some kind of connection. It's a journey that holds up to close listening (and lyric reading) and to dance floors, but that can also exist on a purely emotional plane. In all cases, it asks that you listen, and take some kind of action.