Over their two decades spent melding space-age lounge and pulsing Krautrock, Stereolab stood as true iconoclasts in the oft one-note landscape of alternative music. Along with their hypnotic sound, the rich yet unassuming vocals of Laetitia Sadier made an lasting impression. Her voice gave roots to the band’s political idealism, subtly pushing the conversation beyond its sprightly pop exterior. After their vault-clearing 2010 album Not Music, Stereolab went on hiatus as Sadier began the solo leg of her career. Extending from Stereolab’s dalliances into bossa nova and vintage film soundtracks, the recordings on her latest collective radiates the warmth of AM soft-rock and sunshine.
From the opening post-rock hum to the LP’s benevolent title, Find Me Finding You is stilted by an overarching theme of simplicity and innocence. “Undying Love For Humanity” begins with an meditative pulse that simmers under stylized classic harmonies once wielded by Burt Bacharach and The Free Design. From that foundation, there are many conspicuous and timeless musical tangents for Sadier to travel. The natural tranquility of Brazilian jazz permeates on tracks like “Deep Background”, giving a cheery offset to Sadier’s penchant for Moog-driven tones. The gorgeous Antonio Jobim-influenced strums on “Double Voice: Extra Voice” blended with the celestial anodics create a heady stew that ably blends eras and genres. Her words here are loosely formed but characteristically deliberate: “The pride of our current accomplishments/ There is always a mountain to climb”. As the poetry spins and tumbles, Sadier’s positivity is the beacon that still guides the music through her still-vital second act.
There are moments of distinct and stylish idiosyncrasies on Finding You that will kindle those artistic interests. The warped chords on “Psychology Today (Finding You)” behave as light through a prism, sparkling from no discernable source as the alternating tempo begs for focused attention. “The Woman with the Invisible Necklace” works as performance art and musical exhibition, adding urgency by way of polyrhythmic handclaps and coffeehouse acoustic folk. Lyrics like “We are all bourgeois now” fuel the undercurrent of pointed sarcasm and activist perspective Sadier has always fostered in her art. Her duet with Hot Chip vocalist Alexis Taylor on “Love Captive” is a nuanced parallelism, making the love song construct an allegory to spur a revolution for a truly open and just world. The peacenik vibe matched with a motorik hum throughout Find Me Finding You is an odd pairing on the surface, but suits Sadier’s impassioned and essential aesthetic.
Find Me Finding You is our March 24th. It is available for preorder now.