Back in November we put the word out that HR Lexy was crowdfunding for a new record called Every Scar Is An Open Door. Along with that informative smoke signal, we also gushed about how entrancing a live HR Lexy performance is. That crowdfunding campaign is ongoing (and you really should contribute to it) but the album is now also available on Bandcamp. I won’t bury the lede here: it’s an incredible piece of work that you need to get into your ears.
For me, there are two songs that serve as a decent embodiment of the record. First, “Get On With It” bops along with a core keys and drum rhythm that serve as inescapable earworms as the track swells around Arlene Sparacia’s mystical vocals. They are soaring, yearning and occasionally a little ominous; despite the overall song feeling like a jaunty pop song. It’s a layered affair that begs for relistening. Secondly, “Torn” has a darker, contemplative tone with Sparacia’s vocals and lyrics begging for your attention. It’s a love song but it’s about the complexity of love. This stanza is a rather poignant one:
It’s not like the movies
I don’t feel the same everyday
love is ever moving
and its okay to let it change
met you over coffee
we laughed till we cried
Is it a breakup song? Is it a commitment to loving one another despite the difficulties? Maybe both? For me, it’s certainly both and it’s a powerful refrain.
Those two songs are certainly not the only highlights of the record, they simply serve as introductions to the larger piece of work. “The Marsh” is akin to listening to a magic spell, “Mother” is, seemingly, a grounding refrain about the impact of domestic violence, “Green Eyes” is a swell of yearning, melancholy vocals that could possibly bring a tear to your eye.
It’s a emotional and evocative record but it’s not a withdrawn record. If the title is to be considered literally, Every Scar Is An Open Door is about taking our pain and creating an opportunity from it. That opportunity may be an exit from a bad situation, it may be a learning situation to stay true to your love or may be something far more complex. HR Lexy seems to have taken some of her own scars and turned them into an absolutely unique blend of Art Pop, Performance Art and Reflective Contemplation. These songs, combined with the riveting live show, seem to be a catharsis of their meaning and still manage to be wonderfully memorable.