Abigail Lapell “Stolen Time”

Outside Music, 2022

With “Stolen Time”, Abigail Lapell has come up with an almost timeless set of songs.

How do you come up with a musically subdued album without resorting to the standard singer-songwriter concept of just a voice and a single (usually acoustic) instrument without a tendency to sound monotonous?

The answer to this may lie in ‘Stolen Time,’ the latest (third) album from the Toronto songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Abigail Lapell.  

While based solely on the definition of the term stolen time, which comes from the musical term tempo rubato, (referring to the expressive push and pull of tempo in musical phrasing), it’s also a fitting metaphor for the fragile rhythm of uncertain times and darkness hand in hand with escapism.

According to her press release Lapell based both the music and the lyrics of the album “about becoming sober or coping with a partner’s sudden illness, exploring the cycle of relapse and rehabilitation.” Hence, the subdued, almost melancholic songwriting retains an element of both musical, lyrical and emotional clarity.

While Lapell resorts to subtle arrangements throughout, there is a musical variation on some tracks that take her away from this. Throughout the album the accent is on Lapell’s intriguing and above all pleasing voice and excellent lyrics.

The whole product often sounds quite timeless, as if all the songs could have been recorded yesterday or decades ago in the heyday of this style of sound in the seventies. There is an excellent chance that ‘Stolen Time’ will keep cropping up on your turntable or playlist, actually filling the time with true musical content.

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