Review: Lisa o Piu - Behind the Bend (2010)


artist: Lisa o Piu
release: Behind the Bend
format: CD, LP
year of release: 2010
label: Sub­lim­inal Sounds
dur­a­tion: 28:28

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

Lisa o Piu, the pro­ject of Swedish Lisa Isaks­son and her band mates, is an essen­tial new name to watch in realm of psy­che­delic folk. The past two years saw the release of a suc­ces­ful single and an album, but what made the best impres­sion on me was her intim­ate gal­lery show together with In Gowan Ring in Ams­ter­dam last year. You can view three of our videos of this gig here: [1, 2, 3]. Dis­cov­er­ing a new LP in the store this year was a nice sur­prise, and as it turns out, another great release for Lisa, where her own voice and play­ing is accom­pan­ied by a rich group of sup­port­ers who add bass, strings, per­cus­sion, flute, etc.

In fact, she almost errs on the side of cau­tion with this highly com­pact LP, clock­ing in at under 30 minutes. In a way, it’s gone before you know it, but what is here leaves little to be desired in the way of qual­ity. Tracks like “Was it the Moon” and “Dream of Goats” are fairly stand­ard fare when it comes to style and atmo­sphere, but played and sung at top qual­ity. “Sim­pli­city” is a beau­ti­ful min­im­al­ist piece, con­vin­cingly echo­ing the yearn­ing for, well, sim­pli­city in life, which has been on the agenda since the Romantic era, all through to the hip­pie days, but also today, and basic­ally any time in which mod­ern life can some­times con­fuse and bewilder us, and makes us look to the (appar­ent) sim­pli­city and serenity of a life closer to nature. “World Fall­ing Down” and “Gong for Hours” are nicely poised instru­mental inter­ludes, provid­ing a pad­ding for the extens­ive and flaw­less “Child of Trees”, a great exer­cise in altern­at­ive folk music with rich harp and gui­tar pas­sages, subtle changes in intens­ity, and a swerving psy­che­delic elec­tric gui­tar solo to boot.

Every time I come across albums like Behind the Bend, I hail the folk revival of the past ten/fifteen years or so, and am thank­ful that there are people today still fol­low­ing this won­der­ful altern­at­ive musical path. Need­less to say, this is recom­men­ded stuff for fans of psy­che­delic folk any­where.

Reviewed by O.S.

Track­list:

1. Was It The Moon (3:49)
2. Sim­pli­city (4:40)
3. Dream Of Goats (3:10)
4. World Fall­ing Down (1:16)

5. Child Of Trees (11:59)
6. Gong For Hours (Jupiter’s Under The Moon) (3:34)