With a strong, mournful voice, Audra Mae follows up her Haunt EP with the equally strong The Happiest Lamb. In her first full-length album (and her first physical album), Mae starts off with the more upbeat “The Happiest Lamb,” where she deftly mixes (or is it corrupts?) her allusions, making frequent references that are overtly Biblical until you really listen to them in context.

From there, the album deals with everything from poverty (“Millionaire”) to love and fidelity (“My Lonely Worry”) to personal success (“Lightning in a Bottle”), and the songs slow down in tempo but not in intensity all the way through to “Smoke.” The final song, “Little Sparrow,” is full of crashing pianos that will surely bring you back to the reality the rest of The Happiest Lamb takes you away from.

In the end, Mae’s debut album is a celebration of an art form that balances modern indie rock and folksy gospel-ballad in a perfect mix that brings out both Mae’s clever lyrics and her soulful voice.

Grade: A+

The Happiest Lamb is currently available.