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Now Hear This: Ours - Louise Aubrie

Rating: *** 1/2

London-based singer Louise Aubrie is previewing her upcoming fifth album release, Antonio, with two single releases that definitely establish her as a talent on the rise.

The cover art for the album was inspired by the Pet Shop Boys’ album Actually, but the inspiration isn’t only visual. In the two teaser tracks available for review, Aubrie mines the same vein that PSB did in their “Opportunities” heyday.

Watch video for "Ours" on YouTube below:

Sleek and shiny, both cuts are polished to a fine sheen, but like the best of the “West End Girls” Boys, they are definitely danceable. And her voice is crystalline enough to cut through any club vibe. “Ours,” her most recent single to drop, starts with a hint of sneaky spaghetti-western guitar, and then it’s a straight-up club banger. A singable chorus, a little drum breakdown—it’s hooky, and it’s 1990 again.

Don’t get me wrong—nothing sounds dated about the production value on these fun tunes. And although parts of the upcoming album have roots in Los Angeles, New York, and her native London, the end result sounds like something all her own.

Some of ‘her sound’ probably comes from someone she has described as her ‘mentor,’ Morrissey co-writer Boz Boorer. Listed as her ‘musical director,’ he also plays keyboards, guitar, and percussion on her albums. You can certainly hear that aloof, glassy sound woven throughout Aubrie’s music—there’s a particular keyboard plink-plunk that’s unmistakable.

So who is Antonio? Or, as “Last” asks, “Where is Antonio?” According to Aubrie, she took the character’s name from a single line in a Jacques Brel song. She says she doesn’t actually know anyone named ‘Antonio,’ instead simply creating a vision of, as she puts it in the press release, “an aging European Lothario going round the clubs.’ No doubt humming Pet Shop Boys hits, along with the occasional Smiths tune.

There’s no scheduled release for the album (pretty much everything creative is delayed these days), but Antonio will definitely be an album worth checking out.

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