If it weren’t for her instantly recognisable quavering croon and the moody, magical piano that automatically evokes every one of her previous records, you might start to wonder if ‘The Prince Of Plati’ is really a Lisa Germano song. But while lyrics like ”Hey, why so serious? / Why so blue?” are worthy of a double take, there’s still a concentrated vulnerability at its core. In Lisa’s own words, her eighth album Magic Neighbor, out September 21st through Young God Records, is “a positive record about trying to be happy with all the sad shit in the world,” and ‘The Prince Of Plati’ certainly hints at that. On the surface, it appears to be about trying to overcome the tensions and difficulties in a relationship between two people with a bad case of the blues. Like ‘The Red Thread’ from 2006′s In The Maybe World, the lyrics seem to dance from one side of a conversation to another, but it’s supportive rather than hard and confrontational, hitting its emotional peak with “Can I tell you a story? / Okay / Get away from all this blue blue blue / Do the things we did before we thought we knew” – it sounds trite on paper, perhaps, but Lisa has a wonderful knack of imbuing every word with rare depth and profundity simply through her careworn enunciation.
On first listen, it sounds like the kind of song Lisa could perhaps have composed in her sleep, but to pay closer attention is to revel in the beauty of the overlaid melodies. Guitar, piano and violin mingle together in a deliriously languid concoction, shifting beyond their expected patterns and somehow sounding both chaotic and serene. On the evidence of this song and the one other we’ve heard, ‘Snow’, Magic Neighbor is not the sound of Lisa reinventing her pretty, unique little wheel, simply pushing it gently out of the shadows and letting the sunlight beam through the spokes.
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