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You've probably heard of Lou Doillon before; she's Charlotte Gainsbourg's half-sister, the daughter of Jane Birkin and French filmmaker Jacques Doillon, and, like her famous half-sibling, she also dabs regularly in both music and film.

Back in 2012, Doillon released her excellent debut album Places, a collection of thirteen tracks entirely sung in English that mixed chanson, ballad, and that hard-to-define singer/songwriter genre that is basically poetry put to music. Three years later, Doillon follows-up with her sophomore full-length, which is the ultimate way to prove if she's just a model/actress disguising as a singer who simply caught a lucky break with her first album, or if she has what it takes to actually build a solid career in music. And Lay Low undoubtedly confirms it's the latter.

Lay Low kind of works like a Places part II, due to the similarity in songs; it denotes, however, an increasing maturity, not necessarily in the writing, but in the way Doillon delivers the songs. Mostly piano-driven, Lay Low mixes Lou Doillon's deep voice with clever arrangements that never overlap, stripping everything down to the bare minimum.

Opening with a simple piano-only ballad called 'Left Behind', the album quickly announces itself to be much more nocturnal that its predecessor. Although bright at times (single 'Where To Start' and the title-track are good examples of the sudden ray of sunlight which invades the LP every now and again), Lay Low seems to be personified by a turbid, thick-watered river that silently swallows everything that happens to cross its path. Lou Doillon's voice is both monochromatic in its elegance as it is colourful in its sudden, unexpected curves. It has the ability to transport you to a cloudy mid-morning coffee at a Saint Germain des Près terrace without being over-inflated with pseudo Rive-Gauche philosophies.

Lay Low is a pretty straightforward record, with Doillon not engaging in senseless musical derivations that could make her (and us) forget her point. It is ultimately an essay on simplicity and taste, like a how-to guide on buying a quality grey cashmere sweater, one that may not stand out in the crowd but that will prove to be long-lasting, stylish, comfortable, and necessary even thirty years from now.

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