Feb 23, 2005 at 12:00 am

Lighthouse is Ana Da Silva’s return to recording, nearly ten years after the brief Raincoats reunion. With only a simple digital keyboard to assist her vocal, the album lacks the stirring, skeletal guitar dynamic of Da Silva’s old band. But just as there was a powerful amateurism to the Raincoats’ music — as if they were everyday lawyers or teachers driven to make folk-punk out of frustration at the tube stop — Lighthouse’s very simplicity creates its gravity. “Friend” is a halting and tonal, like Kate Bush humming and singing quietly to herself. The double-tracked vocals of “In Awe of Painting” echo the Raincoats, but its push-button rhythms connect it to now-sound indie pop. And the atmospheric “Two Windows Over the Wings” sketches perfectly the occasional otherworldliness of air travel. Her sequencer accompaniment doesn’t align Da Silva with labelmates Kevin Blechdom and Chicks on Speed — those artists are in fact working closer to what the Raincoats inspired. Lighthouse is instead a showcase of voice. At various points she’s choirgirl serene, whispering and mischievous, overly dramatic, and lyrically cryptic. But her work is always personal and unadorned, as an album created in the space between a private thought and solitary instrument should be.

Johnny Loftus writes about music for Metro Times. E-mail [email protected].