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May 28, 2024

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Mary Lorson & Saint Low
Tricks for Dawn (Cooking Vinyl/spinART Records)

By: Scott D. Lewis

Madder Rose was, perhaps, the most overlooked and under-appreciated bands of the last decade. The band's sweeping pop was equal parts sweetness and smarts, and had the power to melt even the hardest of hearts. Criminally, they were kept an insider's sensation. Thankfully, Madder Rose's secret weapon, singer Mary Lorson, continued on, assembling her own band, Saint Low. Tricks for Dawn is the second album from that union and it shows mountains of progression and artistic growth. Lorson is fully in command of her resplendent voice across the eleven immaculate tracks and tweaks it ever-so-slightly to match the tone and texture of each without abandoning her hushed, semi-hallucinatory base. She sounds like a sleepy Kristin Hersh or possibly a more grounded Edith Frost. Touches of light jazz are threaded throughout Tricks for Dawn, becoming most apparent on the gently swaying "Friends, I Have Been Drinking," and the understated "Blast Off," which recalls an old, tainted love. "Anything Can Happen" is a charming slice of sprite and hopeful '70s-influenced pop, "Accelerate" sounds like a Madder Rose out-take and "Long Way Down," featuring Evan Dando on guitar and backing vocals, is a gorgeously sad, piano-based elegy. With its mature and patient arrangements, Lorson's delicately beautiful voice and its sense of pensive prettiness and spirited sadness, Tricks for Dawn is the perfect companion for those dented days and narcotic nights.
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