Ouri’s "Baby Has a Frown" Is an Artful Grin

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BY Megan LaPierrePublished May 14, 2024

When I first heard the term "intelligent dance music" (IDM), I laughed. As anyone should! The idea of one form of music somehow being more astute than another is pretty silly. When it comes to Ouri, though, there feels like something markedly academic about her music — but that somehow doesn't make any less accessible.

Perhaps it's her classical training and background as a cellist and harpist that give her this air of knowing how to speak a special language we aren't all privy to. The Montrealer is, however, generous with sumptuously airy vocals and chiffon-streaked harp flourishes as she moves like a praying mantis, pushing boundaries of expectation with bristling plucks of cello and spacey synths.

This juxtaposition only deepens the intimacy of a song like "Baby Has a Frown," as Ouri sings, "Wanna show you how I do my dance / On the sidewalk, scaring people to death," her spine-chilling seduction an endlessly curious thing you can't help but be drawn into even if it's out of your depth.

(Born Twice Records)

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