12 Songs, 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

This Australian singer/songwriter seems to luxuriate in melancholy here rather than be extinguished by it. Best known for her work with her brother Angus, Stone makes her first solo album a chamber-pop affair dressed up in sparse but well-tailored acoustic guitars, pianos and strings. Her breathy, softly aching voice — reminiscent of Victoria Bergsman, Lay Low and similar downbeat chanteuses — lends her confessional lyrics an intimacy that’s both captivating and disquieting. The romantic obsession of “This Love” and “My Baby” borders on masochism; the horrific scenes within “Winter On the Weekend” are downright disturbing. Stone softens things with the bouncy, horn-inflected “Catastrophe!” (a happier song than its title indicates) and the whimsical “Where Does the Love Go.” But such tracks are outnumbered by bleak, brooding pieces like “What’s Wrong with Me?” and “Maybe.” The Memory Machine takes the listener to dark corners of the heart and psyche with delicate, often haunting artistry and a clear-eyed sense of purpose.

EDITORS’ NOTES

This Australian singer/songwriter seems to luxuriate in melancholy here rather than be extinguished by it. Best known for her work with her brother Angus, Stone makes her first solo album a chamber-pop affair dressed up in sparse but well-tailored acoustic guitars, pianos and strings. Her breathy, softly aching voice — reminiscent of Victoria Bergsman, Lay Low and similar downbeat chanteuses — lends her confessional lyrics an intimacy that’s both captivating and disquieting. The romantic obsession of “This Love” and “My Baby” borders on masochism; the horrific scenes within “Winter On the Weekend” are downright disturbing. Stone softens things with the bouncy, horn-inflected “Catastrophe!” (a happier song than its title indicates) and the whimsical “Where Does the Love Go.” But such tracks are outnumbered by bleak, brooding pieces like “What’s Wrong with Me?” and “Maybe.” The Memory Machine takes the listener to dark corners of the heart and psyche with delicate, often haunting artistry and a clear-eyed sense of purpose.

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