Local Review: Worst Horse – Worst Horse
Local Music Reviews
Worst Horse = Yeasayer + Grouper
The solo project of Margot Apricot, the eponymous Worst Horse is an experimental lo-fi album that moves with creeping intensity. In the opening track, “Cleansing Breath,” a lilting drum track lurks underneath retro-sounding vocals, setting the shadowy, distorted tone for the collection. The tracks vary in length from quite short to quite long and are often blurred into one another, creating the effect of a singular, snaking song. Despite this format, Apricot possesses a notable musical range, from slow-moving, electronic riffs to briskly paced synth-pop tempos. Worst Horse travels at its own pace, taking the time necessary to tell its story.
While some tracks, such as “Past Needles,” contain sharp, almost laser-like reverb, others offer more white space, as on “Too Heavy.” Though Worst Horse is darkly shaded, there are tracks that have an endearing, lighthearted demeanor. “Calcifer,” for example, tells a story of intergalactic grief against a swelling synth backdrop. Rather than sounding overly zealous, the track offers a gentle message about growth, with the lyrics, “My consciousness is rubber band / I stretch and I expand.” In “How Deep is your Love,” thick percussion leads into a sultry (and danceable) chorus. Spoken-word elements, whether in a whisper (“Can’t Go Outside”) or chant-like delivery (“Left A Mark”) leave a memorable audio impression throughout the album, breaking up other forms of vocals. “House of Bees,” with its rapid drums, helps lift the collection just before it winds down. In the final track, “Bye Bye,” fuzzy vocals and emotive guitar dissolve into a denouement with the lyrics, “Now she’s gone.”
As a first release, Worst Horse introduces Apricot as speculative and ghostly, a varied selection that seems to take an odyssey from earth to space and back again. –Kia McGinnis Wray