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Shadows and Dust

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Album Review

Produced by Mike Thorne for release on his own Stereo Society label, Shadows and Dust is, arguably, the album that Lovich should have made in 1980, following Flex with a set that maintained her grip on compulsive rhythms and eccentric pop, rather than swooping off into the increasingly self-conscious waters that so marred her actual career. Tight rubbery tempos, a skewed look at lyrical life, and a voice that can still rush from too-tender-to-touch to Kate Bush on acid are all present and correct, and any one of the songs here — the superlative "Wicked Witch," the electrifying "Ghost Story," the subtle "Gothic" — would have dignified her late-'70s heyday without a second thought. There is, perhaps, a giveaway sense of maturity in place, to remind us that a lot of years have passed since Queen Lene was last comfortable on her throne; and just a tad of bitterness, as we contemplate the army of imitators who were somehow able to muscle her to one side at the time. But Shadows and Dust nevertheless marks the kind of comeback that one wishes every ‘70s veteran could turn their hand to, and it's great to know that the old lavish Lovich magic doesn't only live on in our hearts. It's loose in the modern world as well.


Born: 30 March 1949 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the more offbeat and memorable figures in new wave, Lene Lovich certainly drew much of her widely varied approach from her unconventional early experiences. Born of a Yugoslavian father and British mother, she spent much of her childhood in Detroit, MI. At age 13, she moved to Hull, England, with her mother. She ran away to London shortly thereafter, where she worked several odd jobs ranging from bingo caller to go-go dancer to street busker. Around this time, she developed an interest in...
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Shadows and Dust, Lene Lovich
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