Ninca Leece: There Is No One Else When I Lay Down and Dream
After Ninca Leece opens her mouth on 'Touriste', the first cut on 'There Is No One Else When I Lay Down and Dream’, it becomes impossible not to think of Björk. It’s an unfortunate first impression, as the remainder of Leece’s debut album testifies to someone who’s at home with their own identity.
Leece was born in Britanny’s capital Rennes and moved to the Netherlands when she was 16. Nowadays, she’s resident in Berlin and has spent time in China, Poland, Finland and Brazil. She’s written soundtracks for animator Marco Morandi and has performed as Public Lover with Bruno Pronsato. Now, though, she seems to have found an equilibrium with her debut album, issued by the German label Bureau B.
Whatever the globe hopping, the all-electronic 'There Is No One Else When I Lay Down and Dream' is recognisably French, marrying a humanised take on Cold Wave to a songwriting style that’s familiarly Gallic. Understated melodies arc romantically with a yearning that’s easy to like. She’s said that the album is about love. Some songs are in English, others in French. A cover of The Cure’s 'Lovesong' seems pointless in the company of an assured electro pop that ranges through the acid-housey pulses of 'You’re Walking in My Head' and the glitchily fragmented 'Aseptique'. Standout track 'Funny Symphony' has the bounce of 'Technique'-era New Order and an insistently inescapable melody. Always warmly emotive, 'There Is No One Else When I Lay Down and Dream' is – strictly-speaking – a Gallo-German album. There’s no reason why more borders shouldn’t be breached.
© Kieron Tyler