Darcy Fray has a flair for the dramatic. From seductive synth-beated rhythms, to somber guitar-soaked vistas, Fray provides a intoxicating update on atmospheric, UK-style space-pop that continues to make believers of the curious.

Beginning in 2002 in the very un-UK surroundings of a Los Angeles bedroom, Fray got off to a promising start with the self-release of the Speak And Spell EP which was welcomed as “a blast of freezer air, cool crisp and bracingly voice...brittle drum-machine backing and occasional bouts of brutal shoe-gazing guitar”.

In 2004 Fray self-released The Firebell EP on her own thinktank! imprint.

Fray is currently running the graphic design company I Am Thinker where she creates web sites, album packaging, t-shirts, stickers, posters and logos - among many other design related items.

Fray's seven-song disc comes out of the box like a blast of freezer air, cool, crisp and bracingly refreshing. She has an ice-queen voice that sounds a little like Aimee Mann, brittle drum-machine backing and occasional bouts of brutal shoe-gazing guitar.

Fray does it all on this home-produced album -- singing, putting together drum tracks and playing guitar. It's an impressive first effort, with nearly every cut a passable addition to adult alternative's narrow playlist. Fray performs thoughtful songwriter tracks pretty effectively ("Spaceman", "Sunday's Sun" and "Western Skies"), but I like her best in pouting new wave princess mode, as on the siren-tinged, synth-beated "Murder in Bombay". Radio-friendly "America" pushes all the pop-star buttons, with Go-Gos harmonies, soaring vocal jumps and patriotically-correct sentiment.

There's nothing deeply revealing about these tracks, no stunning epiphanies or glimpses of genius, but there's also nothing amiss. If this is what Darcy Fray can do first time out, with no help from anyone, I look forward to her next album.

Words from Jennifer Kelly at Splendid.