Laki Mera - The Proximity Effect
Despite lofty claims via the usual over-reaching blurb (The Blue Nile! Come on, PR people – give your young hopefuls a fighting chance, won’t you?), Laki Mera deliver a second album of folky electronica whose surface sheen sits atop a disappointing dearth of ideas. Pleasant enough from a distance, the enterprise palls when pulled into sharper focus. Laura Donelly’s childlike vocals would get her a guest gig with Zero 7 for sure but set against a background as tame as this, they start to grate rather than charm. More crucially, it’s the songwriting that lets it down. After the initial burble and buzz of the Air-like ‘The Beginning of the End’, a mixture of atmospheric sound scapes and polite beats reveals the gaps. If the lyric booklet reveals an awkward and uncommonly literal methodology, the lack of memorable hooks relegates Proximity Effect to background listening status.