The squirmy synth line that opens “House of Lies,” the latest single from ARO’s upcoming Vacare Adamare LP, worms its way in slowly. “Picked you like a rose that wasn’t blooming,” sings ARO, “’cause everything I do is of my choosing.” That couplet perfectly sets up her whole perspective — everything she does is on her own terms.
Five years have passed since ARO introduced herself with “Raining Gold,” a slow-building, cinematic sliver of electro-pop that builds until it bursts. She got immediate attention at the time, since people figured out ARO is an acronym for her name, Aimée Rachel Osbourne — Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne’s eldest daughter — and she was making music that was nothing like her father’s. Yet despite the attention, she bided her time; Vacare Adamare, her debut, won’t come out until October 30th. “House of Lies,” and her lyrics about setting her own destiny, perfectly sum up her attitude.
Beyond the mission statement, there’s an element of mystery to “House of Lies” in the way the music swells around her voice that makes it more curious. The sheer force of the keyboard line pushes it forward — there’s a drum line, but it’s buried deep — and it blends so perfectly with ARO’s voice, which sounds subdued enough in the mix you feel her vocal line the first time you hear it more than make sense of it. It’s only upon repeat listens that her words about feeling tied to someone through time surface, and the way she sings, “We’re bound through geometric ties,” seem to fit perfectly with the sidewinding synth line. There’s a through-line back to trance music in the production, but the keyboard line has more in common with a Cliff Martinez soundtrack than anything Lady Gaga would try to copy these days. The music just expands slowly until it stops — but only at a time when it’s of ARO’s choosing. And that’s what makes it so appealing.
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