"I don't know…except my communication with myself, the earth, and its beings is getting weirder every day". That's from Lisa Germano's own pen, and I personally, in my own life, couldn't echo the sentiment more fully, amen sister, as I think many of us now feel, nor conjure up a better way to describe her music, which has always been a beautiful pool to drown in, leagues deep with epistolary lament and existential fear, as well as a beacon of ragged hope. Ms. Germano's is not a forum in which well-scrubbed yuppies will find much but instead turn, screaming, flailing at the air. At first attracted by the gauzy mellifluity of her dreamy atmospherics, they'd soon find their wretched brain synapses firing, comprehension dawning, their complicity in Germano's dystopias perceived, and, God, what a ruckus that would provoke!
The Penguin Cafe Orchestra opening to Back to Earth soon mutates into a surreal pensee on interludal environmentality and then drops into pained and distrait pixie ruminations in Haunted, with it's 'fraidy-cats' paradoxically terrified of being frightened as the singer longs to locate a solid someone and be taken home safely. 'Home', though, is larded up with a lot wider definition than just a mere edifice, instead a repose of the soul. The music is crafted mostly by Germano—with some assistance from producer Jamie Candiloro (drum loops, 'unearthy sounds', and an engineering job that captures the singer's shadings perfectly) and Sebastian Steinberg (acoustic bass)—and she thus produces, as has been the case all along, her own melancholic small orchestra. Even when lush, there's always a fragility dominating the woman's work, a delicate beauty weighted down in a too mindful cognition of what's really operating beneath the surface of all the illusions.
Be wary: listening to this CD, you'll rapidly find yourself englamoured, especially were you ever of a 4AD bent, but there are more sinister landscapes here than in, say, Kate Bush's work, and the numerous fragmentation factors will arise only after you've been enthralled by the deceptive finery of the composer's classically oriented wont. The release's promo lit defines her as at one with The Brothers Grimm, and that's quite correct. Thus, as the vampires like to trap their victims with: Enter freely and of your own accord.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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