Swedish artist Le Days presents one of the year’s most inventive albums with Stuck In My Head (Alternate Recordings). The release’s aesthetic is striking throughout. Dark, swelling soundscapes are led by versatile strings and dramatic piano, complementing stirring vocal performances; the style is fondly reminiscent of Scott Walker’s later career, full of mystique and dimly lit intrigue.
Following up Le Days’ third album We Are Nowhere, Stuck In My Head (Alternate Recordings) was recorded at Svenska Grammofon Studion. The new release represents re-recordings from the project’s second album, 2017’s I Am Your King, in addition to some new tracks, in “Shadow King,” “In My Chest,” and “My Mind Sees It All.” The re-recordings are often set in a murkier light, embracing of new string-laden movements and brooding vocal performances.
The opening “Mouthplay (Alternate Recording)” invites listeners with gradual enticement, indicative of the album’s steadily unraveling song structures. Solemn guitar tones and a lingering string-laden underlying craft a climactic pull, with chills sent via the whispers of a harmonica. The fervent vocal reveal around the track’s mid-point invigorates in its wordless passion, meshing a grungy vigor with cinematic passion. An atmospheric table-setter, “Mouthplay (Alternate Recording)” excels in getting Stuck In My Head (Alternate Recordings) into motion.
Although unanimous in its darkly invigorating soundscapes, the album touts enjoyable variance in its textural involvement. “23617 (Alternate Recording)” compels with little more than a repeating piano chiming, complemented by ominous vocal swells. Following is the moving “Red Little Hands (Alternate Recording),” evolving from piano-fronted balladry into resonating string accompaniments. The stirring vocals and lingering piano softness remind fondly of Father John Misty here.
The album’s new tracks maintain stylistic cohesion. The baleful “Shadow King” is wholly cinematic in its anxious rhythmic underlying and somber strings, leading in aptly to the eclectic “My Mama Said (Alternate Recording),” evolving from folk-forward intimacy into howling rock theatrics. Similarly, the enchanting “In My Chest” builds delicately into the subsequent “We Are Slaves (Alternate Recording),” which also impresses in its darkly foreboding allure, elaborated more in our feature earlier this month.
Stuck In My Head (Alternate Recordings) grippingly conveys its nocturnal mystique and sense of foreboding, all within moments of ample melodic intrigue and atmospheric variation. The Swedish artist has one of the year’s most immersive, thought-provoking albums with Stuck In My Head (Alternate Recordings).
Stream the album, below:
Album track “We Are Slaves (Alternate Recording)” and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of June 2022’ Spotify playlist.