Approaching her sophomore album, Lillie West actively imagined the end of the world. Recording as Lala Lala (backed by Emily Kempf on bass and Ben Leach on drums), The Lamb came about, "during a time of intense paranoia after a home invasion, deaths of loved ones and general violence around me and my friends," West explained in a press release.

You know, the little stuff. If you haven't gathered, The Lamb is not a particularly light release. Neither is it nearly so grim as you might imagine. Album opener 'Destroyer' surges with defiance, as well as perhaps the album's meatiest hook, it's a proper showstopper of a first track, teasing the confidence to follow.

West is, above all, undefeated. This is an ode to perseverance, a soundtrack for, if not an emotional rebound, whatever bile one must spew out out in preparation of one.

While it may seem tired to declare a particular piece of music a worthy companion for healing, The Lamb is surely up for the job. It's not always a kind partner, but it's always honest. West, and the album by extension, have no time for self-pity. Don't expect it to allow you time for any, either.

Most of these songs boil over quickly, largely clocking in at under 3 minutes, a raw rush of emotion and strength that sizzles out seemingly as quickly as it begins to implode, only to give way into the next wallop. There are moments that sear in your face, and others that cut with a jagged beauty; 'Dove' is by turns violent and placid, a highlight here. There are even hints of stadium ambition, 'Dropout' boasting flashes of an almost The xx-like mix of showmanship and plaintive vocals.

Sometimes it's a kick out the door we need, and much like West herself on the cover, The Lamb feels like a cold ocean wind. It might not always be comfortable, but it'll sure jerk you back to where you need to be.

Surveying her surroundings on 'Scary Movie', West deadpans, "I swear that I'm immortal, no one can prove me wrong." It may well be a putdown of our youthful arrogance, but listening to The Lamb, you can almost feel her abandon. It only makes her suddenly desperate pleas to keep her friends safe on the next track all the more powerful.

At times The Lamb can feel inscrutable, like it's keeping you just out of reach, but on the jazzy lull of closer 'See You at Home', Lala Lala finally let you in on the heartbreak. The pain's soft when they break it to you.