Reviews

Laura Gibson
Goners

(City Slang)

7/10

What’s the point of starting a relationship when the world’s going to shit? This is but one of the happy questions that broods throughout the sixth album from American singer-songwriter Laura Gibson.

Relationships were central to her last record, ‘Empire Builder’, but now Gibson is looking at family and domesticity through the lens of past trauma. Gibson’s father died in her teens, and ‘Goners’ is explicitly focused on the resurfacing of that grief as Gibson, now an adult, considers parenthood and setting up a proper home. ‘You’re the only home I’ve ever wanted’ she states on ‘Slow Joke Gin’ – one of the album’s clear highlights – but will that ever be enough?  There is, thankfully, salvation on the track ‘Tenderness’ – an invitation to vulnerability, and its various possibilities. ‘The future is dim,’ she acknowledges on that track, ‘but at least it’s clear.’

You don’t listen to Gibson for sonic innovation, but all the same there’s consistent surprises and depths on this record. Take ‘Domestication’, lifted by a soaring, widescreen string section and an insistent, almost motorik drums. And in her writing, your assumptions are always there to be questioned – ‘Marjory’ begins as an after-hours character study, before its central character transforms into a werewolf and the track morphs into an Angela Carter-esque comment on femininity. Hope despite the times on a thoughtful and direct progression.

Support Loud And Quiet from £3 per month and we'll post you our next 9 magazines

As all of us are constantly reminded, it’s getting harder for independent publishers to stay in business, which applies to Loud And Quiet more now than ever, 14 years after we first started printing a magazine that we’ve always given away for free.

Having thought about the best way to support our running costs (the printing and distribution fees, the podcast and production costs etc.) we’d like to ask our readers who really enjoy what we do to subscribe to our next 9 issues over the next 12 months. The cheapest we can afford to do this for works out at £3 per month for UK subscribers, charged yearly.

If that seems like a bit of a punt, you can pay-as-you-go for £4 per month and cancel any time you like. European and world plans are available too, at the lowest rate we can afford.

It’s not just a donation – you’ll receive a physical copy of our magazine through your door and some extra perks detailed on our subscribe page. Digital subscriptions are available worldwide for £15 per year. We hope you consider this a good deal and the best way to keep Loud And Quiet in your life without its content, independence or existence suffering.