Lisa Germano: Magic Neighbor (Young God Records)

 |   |  <1 min read

Lisa Germano: Snow
Lisa Germano: Magic Neighbor (Young God Records)

Given that the cover art here is by Auckland's West Coast artist Dean Buchanan, we might guess that singer/violinist/composer Germano encountered his work when she was in New Zealand in April 2001 for Neil Finn's 7 Worlds Collide project.

Certainly Buchanan's dark and mysterious work is appropriate here because Germano's music is much the same: there is a surface loveliness hinted at but then odd, atonal undercurrents or slightly disconcerting sounds creep through. Shadows at noon and night.

When she sings "it's a beautiful day" you can't really be convinced -- and that makes for an album of great emotional depth where unusual orchestration and effects are peppered throughout, and her lyrics offer mulitiple interpretations. 

It is hypnotic in its overall sense of quiet, but her attention to detail and ability to suddenly throw a melodic curve (which never entirely puts you off) is unique.

Suli-Mon is just plain strange with weird voices and effects behind the almost childlike melody and delivery. Snow which follows is just plain beautiful. The mysterious Painting the Doors was written with Elsewhere/Eno favourite Harold Budd.

Germano has had a rough ride in the music game (she gave up for a while) and as you might expect from someone who had an album entitled Lullaby for Liquid Pig she is always going to present something . . . different.

This is certainly that, but not in a bad way. Magnetic. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Timothy Blackman: Modern Sprawl (Home Alone)

Timothy Blackman: Modern Sprawl (Home Alone)

This lo-fi singer-songwriter recorded the six songs on this impressive EP at his Auckland flat, so as a result he sounds like he's singing in your own home. Very much in the folk-rock tradition... > Read more

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 The Puddle: The Shakespeare Monkey (Fishrider/Yellow Eye)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 The Puddle: The Shakespeare Monkey (Fishrider/Yellow Eye)

Dunedin's The Puddle should have been bigger (and perhaps better) than they were during New Zealand's vibrant indie-rock scene in the Eighties and early Nineties. But they were sometimes... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GILLIAN WELCH INTERVIEWED (2016): Taking sad songs to make it better

GILLIAN WELCH INTERVIEWED (2016): Taking sad songs to make it better

It has been almost five years since Gillian Welch's Grammy-nominated album The Harrow and the Harvest, and over a decade since she and longtime partner Dave Rawlings appeared in New Zealand.... > Read more

TIGI NESS INTERVIEWED (2003): From street warrior to natural mystic

TIGI NESS INTERVIEWED (2003): From street warrior to natural mystic

The high-rise skyline shimmers in the summer heat beyond the faded iron roofs of Auckland's inner-city suburbs. Tigi Ness sits on the back porch of his Grey Lynn home, in the foreground a tended... > Read more