Like any Brooklyn resident worth her salt, Aly Spaltro is eager to talk about her favorite blog. “About five years ago, my mom started writing down all her childhood memories online for my siblings and I to read,” says the demure singer-songwriter, 25, over cappuccinos in Park Slope. “It’s full of mischievous things she did as a kid, pranks she pulled on her brother. There are her memories of us as children, too. It’s one of the more special things she’s ever done for us.”
Spaltro clearly inherited that gift for emotional prose. As the folk-pop artist Lady Lamb (a moniker that she pulled from odd journal scribblings), the Brooklyn-via-Maine musician exudes both plucky confidence and precocious serenity as she unspools intimate, often strange tales. Her second album, After (Mom + Pop), covers a wide emotional range: She brims with love for her family, shouting euphorically, “I’m gnawing my way back home!” atop power-pop guitars (“Billions of Eyes”), then laments lost childhood in a hoarse drawl that recalls Angel Olsen (“Ten”). In a more playful moment, she theorizes on UFO sightings over jagged bass textures, crying, “Galileo Galilee Galilae Galeli!” (“Heretic”). The songs capture a new brevity; while her first record, Ripely Pine, meandered somberly in folk opuses that often exceeded five minutes, After is a more radio-friendly effort.
“I wanted to make an album that was still uninhibited and still me in every way, but I also wanted to challenge myself to be more direct,” says Spaltro, an entirely self-taught musician. “I wrote a lot of the first record when I was 18. I was so full of emotions that were battling each other, and the songs reflected that. But now I’m in a different place.”
Spaltro will support After with a national spring tour, and aims to add a European leg after. Her broadest career goals are, however, of the more introspective sort. “More than anything, I want to enjoy this experience while it’s happening,” she says. “It’s hard when you’re on the road to take a step back and say, ‘I’m living my dream right now!’ I hope to do that more.”