Boomkat Product Review:
A second knockout album of psych-pop noise genius from Cindy Lee in 2020, chasing up AOTY contender ‘What’s Tonight To Eternity’ with a bouquet of more tormented, ragged pop and post-punk synth noise for Superior Viaduct - think Suicide meets Sonic Youth and Scott Walker at the Velvets’ gaff.
Are you even allowed to have two insanely strong albums out in one year? Well it’s 2020 and rules are being broken, so allow Cindy Lee to proceed with ‘Model Express’; an equally jaw-dropping collection of extraordinary song-writing and uchronic alloys of ‘80s synths and shoegaze guitars with unforgettable vocals and symphonic string arrangements, by the Canadian artist aka Pet Flegel of indie group Women. Most uncannily, where their previous album was a core part of our soundtrack to the first phase of lockdown, this follow-up arrives with perfect timing to accompany the second and what’s bound to be a long, cold, strange winter.
Daringly experimental but totally pop and song-based at heart, ‘Model Express’ is perhaps best regarded as the noirishly cinematic and melancholy partner to 'What’s Tonight To Eternity'. They’re still unafraid to drench their songs in ravishing walls of sculpted feedback and cybernoir synths on the likes of their crazed title track, and in the brilliantly queered synth-pop keen of ‘What I Need (Alternate Version)’ for much of the first half. But now they also make time for heartbreaking, opiated drone-pop, such as the slunky Scott Walker-style groover ‘What Can I Do’, their stunning ‘Left Hand Path’, and an achingly brilliant cover of ‘Are You Lonesome Tonight?’, while the ghostly, pitching string arrangement on ‘Diamond Ring’ and the keening chorale of ‘Be My Shining Star’ surely leave us in no doubt: Cindy Lee records are one of the only good things about this cursed year.