Lucy Railton trusts in the nuance of her own creative instincts on an intensely modern, quietly radical new album, her second for Modern Love. Following her 2018 solo debut Paradise 94 (LOVE 108LP), and countless collaborations in the time since, Railton's diverse musical circles here bleed into each other, creating an insoluble testament to a lifelong pursuit of sound. The multi-instrumentalist further articulates her own tonal register, embracing her solo strengths and trusting the process to reveal vulnerable and compelling emotional facets through a fluid mix of composition, and pure expression. On the simplest level, Corner Dancer is a record that revels in the momentum of creation. Through a range of approaches, Railton gradually loosens her grip and allows her identities to expose themselves; cut to the bone, sinew and spirit of music making.
Reaching outside tried and tested zones, she lands at a charged space characterized by unmetered pacing and an embrace of imperfection, using cello, viella (a medieval cello), Buchla, 808, a fan, synths, horse hair whips, a handheld harp and her own voice, across eight tracks that arc from an opening sequence of ruptured asymmetries, to something bordering the sublime on "Blush Study," the album's masterful closing flourish. In between, Railton invokes psychoacoustic, heady spins and repetitions, while also allowing space for live performance, a mode to which she feels most attuned, and here captured best on "Held in Paradise" (her violin debut) and "Rib Cage." Collapsing boundaries, Railton harnesses a lifetime of formal training in order to patiently trace more ambiguous, intimate and sometimes deviant shapes, operating to a fuzzed logic that loops back to themes with an ingenious underlying dramaturgy of energies, dismantling the form from the inside out, in a way that bends through feeling, rather than design.