Lisa o Piu: When This Was The Future - Album of the Month - August 2009

~ Monday, 31 August 2009
Lisa O Piu is Swede Lisa Isaksson and her assorted band of musical friends. There is some great music coming out of Sweden right now, Håkan Hellström and Jens Lekman to name but two, but in Isaksson they have an artist that is truly special in a wonderfully weird psychedelic way. With When This Was The Future we have a collection of 8 songs so achingly beautiful that you will feel you have found something totally unique.

Opener Cinnamon Sea brings to mind Joni Mitchell circa the Blue album, the harmonies and arrangement perfect, while Forest Echo is a haunting and atmospheric piece that would not sound out of place on the Wickerman soundtrack, the repetitive guitar having an almost hypnotising effect.

Mattias Gustavsson's lo-fi production is perfectly suited to Isaksson's breathy reverb laden vocals, giving the album a warmth that has not been heard since the late 60's. This is folk music, but it is so much more.

On tracks like Traitor and Two you can definitely hear a kinship with José
González. Perhaps it is the sparse arrangement or the monotone vocals, but it is definitely there. She certainly shares the same musical sensibilities as González and even Fleet Foxes, but despite these comparisons, her music is wholly original.

The album closes with And So On. At over 6 minutes long it could quite easily have fallen flat, but it is a masterpiece, lifting and laying you as the instrumentation builds and falls.

This is a stunning and hugely impressive record that is quite unlike anything else out there at the moment.
Isaksson possesses a voice with an ethereal quality that can draw emotions you never knew you had, while her skills as a songwriter means that we will be hearing far more of her in years to come. Buy this album and discover something quirky, beautiful and totally captivating.

[][][][][] (5/5)

Listen to Lisa O Piu: And So On