“You can’t wait/ To roll with me to the bank,” Terri Walker and Nicole Wray chide a mooching lover on “Money,” the lead single from their self-titled debut as Lady. A single guitar and a lone tamborine, shimmering with reverb, open the song, which builds to full-blown soul—organ, horns, the works. If there’s an air of historical re-enactment here, it doesn’t distract from the fun.
The duo sounds more distinct on second single “Get Ready,” with its pitch-bending synth during the chorus and Ethiopiques-style horn breakdown. Here, as throughout the album, it’s the fluid bass that holds the music in place while urging it forward, anchor and engine all at once.
Lady self-consciously references past classics of soul music. Despite occasional stuffiness, this reverence pays off—it doesn’t matter if the buzzsaw guitar on “Good Lovin” was Curtis Mayfield’s first, I want to hear more of it. Walker, who is from London, and Wray, who lives in Atlanta, find ways to be creative with the old forms. On “Please Don’t Do It Again,” when the singer catches her best friend with her lover, she sides with her friend: “There’s always other guys.”
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