With the release of her critically applauded full-length effort, I Predict A Graceful Explosion, the Canadian born and London-based Al Spyx, who writes, records and performs under the moniker of Cold Specks put herself on the map as a vocalist to pay attention to; in fact, after the release of the album, Spyx had a busy two years of touring and collaboration with the likes of Moby, Joni Mitchell (along with Herbie Hancock), Swans and others, and she had been nominated for both a Juno Award and a Polaris Prize. She also managed to spend time working on the material that wound up comprising her much anticipated follow up and sophomore effort, Neuroplasticity (which is the process by which it is believed that human brains learn).
Written in a cottage in a wintery Wick, Somerset UK, several songs on the album, according to Spyx was heavily inspired by her surroundings, including the album’s first single “Absisto,” which is the Latin verb to withdraw, to depart. Sonically, the song which comprises of choppy blocks of keyboard chords, bass, seemingly jazz-inspired drumming manages to be anxious and slightly claustrophobic, evoking the sensation of being stuck indoors. And yet, there’s a slow-burning sensuality just under the anxious claustrophobia that adds a layer of complexity and nuance to the proceedings.