Aly Spaltro — who 12 years ago christened herself Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, now condensed to Lady Lamb — advises young songwriters who are temporarily at a loss for words to travel — as often as they can, to exotic or mundane destinations they find intriguing. It’s difficult sometimes, and it can be expensive, she admits. “But I try and do it as much as possible, in part just to change my surroundings, stir up my thoughts and actually have some things to say,” she says. “And you really need to be out in the world for that.”
That’s how the Brooklynite hit the lyrical paydirt of “Even in the Tremor” and its contemplative existential anthems like “Deep Love” and “July Was Mundane,” which she’ll introduce to San Francisco this week. The recording is the result of two years of globetrotting she undertook with her girlfriend Erica, a journey that took her to Berlin, Montreal, Madrid and waystations such as Frank Lloyd Wright’s stunning Falling Water House in Mill Run, Penn.
The couple also wound up staring transfixed into Nicaragua’s Masaya volcano. “It’s an active one, and it was at night, so we saw all this lava flowing. It was really special,” she says. “And through it all, I just tried to stay observant.”
Kevin Smith couldn’t have penned a more colorful backstory for Spaltro, who put to good use her teenage evening-shift job at Bart & Greg’s DVD Explosion in Brunswick, Maine, by getting permission from the owners to stay on site after closing to record her solitary guitar experiments, which eventually led to her 2013 debut “Ripely Pine.”
She’s not sure what her composing process has matured into on “Even in the Tremor,” which assimilates imagery into a stream of consciousness flow. Or, as she puts it, “Every place that I visited over the past two years was beneficial to at least one phrase or lyric, or one extra change of perspective.”
Not all of Lady Lamb’s inspirations translate so smoothly. On impulse, she flew to Las Vegas, rented a compact car and set out to be stunned by scenic Nevada. But she found that driving on U.S. Route 50, a four-town stretch dubbed The Loneliest Road in America, to be “so desolate.”
And hiking on the Oregon coast, she came face to face with two full-grown male elk that were ready to charge. It was the first time in all her travels where she genuinely felt fear.
Currently, the vagabond has sublet her Brooklyn apartment and put all her belongings in storage for a nine-month tour.
She may not return. “I’ve really fallen in love with Mexico City,” she says. “So I’d really like to start spending my winters there.”
IF YOU GO
Where: Great American Music Hall, 859 O’Farrell St., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Monday
Tickets: $20 to $23
Contact: (415) 885-0750, slimspresents.com