Published Mar 23, 2016Building on the momentum from her previous EP, Americana Submarine, Extraordinormal is the debut full-length from Les Hay Babies' Vivianne Roy, who now creates as Laura Sauvage.
Extraordinormal hones the clever songwriting-meets-sardonic indie rock guitar-based approach of her previous band, recalling a knottier KT Tunstall, particularly with her vocals: Sauvage shares the same tendency of sneering her way through the more bombastic tracks. The first half of Extraordinormal leans towards a maximalist feel — Sauvage recorded a majority of the tracks with a band, several members of which handled production and mixing duties — but even on the midtempo rockers here, there's distinctive, subtle production work going on. Opener "Rubberskin" details decorating a person's front yard — "Eleanor Rigby with the perfect mullet," she describes — before things get truly weird, while "Jesus Wants To Be My Buddy" is a showcase for Sauvage's songwriting abilities, serving up a fantastic chorus before dissolving into a coda of catchy la la las and chiming guitar and synth work.
The record's latter half, which favours slower arrangements, takes a slight downturn — save for the fiery garage stomper "Fucker (Stole My Phone)" — but the positive result is that the focus gets shifted to settle more on Sauvage. "You can steal from my pockets, you can eat off my bones," she admits on the sombre "No Direction Home," and she's intimate and confessional on closer "You've Changed (Wild Session)."
It all makes Extraordinormal a likeable debut that succeeds in hitting the sweet spot between acidic and the personal. (Simone)