August 2nd, 2022 7pm Stage 3
Lou Roy’s debut album Pure Chaos might well be a little magical. The LA singer-songwriter, 29, had been getting deep into chaos magic, and she found that embracing the forces of chaos worked pretty well for her art.
“I was waking up and the first thing I did was a banishing ritual, where you basically cleanse your energy and banish any foul forces away from you. And I was writing down things on little pieces of paper and jerking off onto them, and that’s a part of it…” she remembers with a grin. On the album’s opening track and lead single “Valkrie”, Roy sings: “Chaos reigns, all is permitted” — a reference to a core tenet of chaos magic. “I found that to be such a profound little couplet, because it gave me creative freedom. There’s nothing that I can do wrong; everything that I could do is okay.” She used that newfound liberation to create an extraordinary debut; one where unconventional musical constructions and irreverent lyrical ideas add up to a rousing celebration of life.
On the silky, self-empowering “Valkyrie”, which is built around little more than percussion and harmonies yet sounds teeming with life, and “Uppercut”, an alt-folk stomper that’s an ode to resiliency and friendship, Roy was channeling the feeling of riding in a convertible with the top down — an uncomplicated, undemanding joy. Synthier cuts like “U.D.I.D.” and “Down Since ’07”, meanwhile, get atmospheric, pulsing with steady confidence. The all-encompassing spirit of the album is evident in the transition from “If We Were Strangers”, an acoustic ballad where Roy heartbreakingly reflects on her strained relationship with her parents, to “Myth”, a pop banger about queer belonging and great sex.
On the track “Big Anvil”, Lou promises ‘endless hope for the future’, and it’s this that, in all its chaos, Pure Chaos really stands for. “People say that it takes a really long time to sound like yourself, and for me that’s been totally true,” Roy reflects. “I’ve been so heartbroken about my career for so long, because I felt like a failure, and I was so disheartened. To resurface as a person familiar with their artistic voice and confident in the music is like, a total miracle to me. I’m just so excited about finally feeling like I can present honestly, and with joy.” Whether Roy’s rituals paid off or not, there’s no denying there’s magic to be found here..
Kathryn Gallagher is Grammy Award winning and Tony Award nominated singer/songwriter and actress. She can be seen on Netflix’s You and HBOMax’s Gossip Girl. Most recently she was seen on Broadway in Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill. Her music has been featured in film and television like Stuart Blumberg’s Thanks For Sharing and Darren Star’s Younger. Available to stream wherever you stream music.