On 20th August and 5th September 1977, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Voyager programme launched an unmanned probe into space, with hopes of discovering more about the solar system. Each probe contained a Golden Record - gold-plated copper phonograph discs containing a selection of sounds and images illustrating life and culture on Earth in case of possible contact with intelligent extraterrestrials.

Building her debut full length release around these pivotal moments in technological and interstellar exploration is the talented pianist, violinist, guitarist, vocalist and banjo player Laurel Sprengelmeyer, otherwise known as Little Scream.

The Montreal based musician and painter has drawn on the infinite stream of inspiration that space, stars and the solar system offer, avoiding cliched sounds and song structures to produce The Golden Record, a well crafted work of rare beauty.

Celestial voices introduce opening 'The Lamb' and a soft, simple guitar melody underpins the first opportunity to hear the winsome voice of Little Scream before the album segues into the lo-fi Beck-like thrust of 'Cannon', a song peppered with echoing, sliced vocals and glitchy bleeps that reoccur throughout the recording. Warm and breezy production on 'The Heron and the Fox' makes for a glowing aural experience as Little Scream's honeyed vocals climb over soft cymbals, ethereal vocal backing and delicate acoustic guitar courtesy of The National's Aaron Dessner.

The dark and portentous rumbling of low amplified guitar and bursts of slide banjo on 'Guyegaros' are pure roots and blues-rock, worthy of a place on a dry and dusty Ry Cooder soundtrack, while the brooding hum and crashing percussion in the verses and chorus of 'Boatman' offer the room for Little Scream's vocals to flourish.

A homage to the slow and fading otherworldly choral end to Gustav Holst's Planets suite on 'People is Place' gets buried by the cheer and glam rock stomp of 'Red Hunting Jacket', while much of this debut's appeal can be found in the gentle, gradual build-up in lullaby-like nature of 'Your Radio' and 'Boatman'. Wilting strings mapping out 'Black Cloud', a rain-spattered and eerie Land of Hope and Glory on 'Hallowed' plus detuned piano melodies and well employed samples all serve to add a further dimension to this brilliant concept album.

There is definitely something of Feist and Tori Amos about Sprengelmeyer's vocal style, while instrumentally, a seamless mix of pseudo-futuristic synth sounds, roots, folk, country and blues mark the offering as a distant cousin of Steve Miller's Fly Like An Eagle recording, released a year before the Voyager spacecraft set off on their missions.

Coincidentally, The Golden Record is as perfect a name as any for an album of such material, illustrating both the inspiration for the work and the warm production values over seen by co-producer Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire) which showcase Little Scream's arrangements and multi-instrumentation beautifully.

Fresh from performing five shows at SXSW, Little Scream will be touring North America with Brooklyn singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten as well as opening for Jose Gonzalez and Gothenburg String Theory in a handful of European dates, including London's Barbican on 11 April 2011.

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