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Saturday, July 08, 2006
  Lisa Papineau, Night Moves

Lisa Papineau
Night Moves

rarely am i shocked to hear an artist's choice of a first single. there's always some kind of formula involved in the making, and consequently the choosing, of a single; you need a catchy, accessible, relatively stable song to present to everyone before they've heard the rest. you need to hook the people. with the amount of music pouring through our mailboxes, computers, local record stores, myspace friend requests (sigh) - we just don't have time for bad music, and if your single represents you badly, there is a good chance (again, sigh) that we'll either lose interest or feel misinformed once we get ahold of the cd in its entirety.

but with Lisa Papineau, everything just stated became a joke. i was totally blown away when i realized that the first track i heard when i popped this album into my car stereo was actually the single. having not the chance to previously know which song was the single, i assumed it was a typical introductory track, and meant to set a mood. i continued on and was quickly shown what Papineau can pull off. holy shit.

::::before i go any further, please have a listen, if you haven't already:
Lisa Papineau - Out To You

this track is slow. if i may, i'll compare it to a female Owen, circa his self-titled, in terms of mood only. it's slow. it brings you in with tinkering guitar/bass with a blanketing Eastern influence, then low airy vocals that shift into contradictory outbursts, while the quiet tinkering goes on. it takes two minutes for the drum machine to come in, and though it helps to build, it essentially rides out on the same tone for the next two minutes. it's the most surprising choice for a first single that i've heard in a really long time.

::::now let's look at the second track.
Lisa Papineau - Shucking, Jiving

had this track not followed the first, i would have disregarded Papineau. where with Out To You it's apparent that there's quite a bit of bottled intensity - if nothing, i will give it that - where on this track, she lets it out. she tricks you with innocent, pretty notes, then with an indignant "yeah?" she launches into a beat track to kick the best of indie hip-hop producers. heavy distortion and voice production makes her previously low and airy vocals completely pissed off. there's even a highly distorted scream about a minute and a half into it. but at about two minutes, she's tired of yelling, and with a quiet intensity starts repeating "never give it up, i never give it up." it's insane; the song is the equivalent of an internal breakdown. it's so clearly emotional and surprisingly deep that she totally has me hooked.

was this her intention? is the single to draw us in with an innocence, a quiet but clairvoyant darkness, a bottled fierceness - only then to whip around with the truth? it's messed up, and i like it a lot.

it's hard not to write something about Lisa Papineau without mentioning Imogen Heap. even though Papineau is technically an entire band, it can't be helped. on your bonus track, you'll really hear the vocal similarity, but it's not just the vocals that tie them together. they seem to be linked by another force - using electronics to create sonorous, emotional, and usually dark sounds. i think the 'sphere has room for more of these kinds. i'm always a sucker for this kind of thing, and maybe they'll draw you in too.

::::your bonus track, as promised.
Lisa Papineau - The Quiet Storm

  • for those with fear of commitment, listen by her myspace
  • her album drops July 18th. if you love it (which you do) you should go pre-order it courtesy of the Filter Store.
  • Comments:
    i really appreciated this review of the album. it's not exactly what i thought of it when i first purchased it, but i like your thoughts.

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