" Into Oblivion must be the most beautiful song ever written about getting blotto, or more than blotto."
Lisa Germano – In the Maybe World
(Konkurrent/Young God Records)
It's not a long listen, this new Lisa Germano LP, but it sure is a beautiful one. As ever with her LPs, you do feel as if you are entering a hidden world. The Day is such a wonderful opener, revolving round a slowly unravelling chord sequence. It's over in less time than it takes to write this. Too Much Space is a lullaby of the first water, utilising a softly played piano part and soft though slightly discordant guitar and violin. There seems to be a story of considerable desperation being told here, but somehow you don't really notice. Moon in Hell is a strange, sad song, presumably about living in the Moon.
Whistling introduces Golden Cities, a delightfully groggy merry-go-round ride, seemingly preserved in aspic whilst Into Oblivion must be the most beautiful song ever written about getting blotto, or more than blotto. A constant in all these tracks are the treatment of the vocals, which create an impression that Germano is whispering your ear. Coupled with woozy strumming and softly played pianos, it's a highly effective combination.
Well, you get the picture. Other highlights are in the Land of Fairies which is not as twee as it sounds, whereas Wire is plain strange lyrically. In the Maybe World is a delightful song, opening a tiny musical trinket box, its spiral chord structure excellently suited to the (for once) hopeful lyrics. Things get discordant near the end, but in a very charming way. Red Thread is a beautiful song about hate (no, really) with the scorching couplet "Go to hell, fuck you" being sung in a wonderfully soft, forgiving way. The sonic effects near the end are impossibly beautiful and slightly deranged. A Seed is a strange little song, utilising a heavily dubbed cello (I think) and some ghostly keyboards. By contrast, Except for the Ghosts is positively Spartan in that it employs just a piano, instead of the by now familiar spooky, fusty backdrops. After Monday brings back some of the effects for a beautiful uplifting closing track. There are the odd moments of weirdness and slightly psychedelic dissonance, but that, I suppose, par for the course with Germano.
Soothing, interesting and definitely "out there" it's a great LP to unwind to, (as long as you don't mind the surreal subject matter of the lyrics).
Words: Richard Foster.