Lisa Who

Lisa Who

Lisa Who? Lisa Who!

When was the last time you focused your mind on only one thing at a time? Just listened, nothing else? Closed your eyes and opened your ears? Do you remember? If your answer is “yes“, there‘s no need for further explanations. In this case, please feel free to skip the following passage and have at it: Lisa Who‘s new album “Sehnsucht“.

However, if your answer is “no“, we should start from square one, since Lisa Who knows best how to take it from there. With her new record, all she has done is creating music. Genuine, heartfelt tunes.

To the Berlin-based artist, music is her pendulum within that keeps swaying back and forth, pushing her forward but also balancing her out when the world around her seems too fast-paced and loud. And it was in one of those nights you‘d later think back on with a shake of the head and a smile that her album “Sehnsucht“ came to life. One of those nights when time becomes hazy and all that matters is the present moment. This was when the album‘s cornerstone track “Sehnsucht“ was written together with her producer Sebastian Madsen and his eponymous band. Lisa Who knew: One song is not enough.

The track “Ich dreh mich nicht im Kreis“ ensued. Dry drumming accompanied by reverberating guitars, a dragging verse giving way to a mid-tempo chorus. It‘s a musical statement, a renunciation of noxious ambition, against a master plan and complete control. “Keine Rettung“ follows almost seamlessly and Lisa‘s appeals to humanity merge into one another like her spheric sounds. So does “Alles ist gut“, while telling a lascivious love story – though it‘s one between man and nature. One layer doesn‘t quite cut it for Lisa Who – both as far as sound and lyrics are concerned. “Das Rauschen in mir“, too, keeps unraveling bit by bit with every rerun. Just like a person‘s full set of facial features that you only really know after you‘ve seen him or her laughing, crying and barfing. Lisa Who asks deep existential questions. “Das Rauschen in mir“ exceeds the nine minute mark. It requires space.

You need to get involved with Lisa Who. And with the fact that nothing remains as it seems at first sight. The album transforms when giving it a spin. Where you‘re coming from, where you‘re at, where you‘re headed for will determine its sound. “Sehnsucht“ transcends the uncertainties, instabilities and all the “maybes“ of the modern age by embracing them. Dealing with them. This album was inspired by Chet Baker, Billie Holiday, Pink Floyd and Air, which is why you‘ll never see Lisa Who putting her foot down. She‘d rather creep up on you from behind to hit you by surprise.

Despite all references to the past, “Sehnsucht” is deeply rooted in the here and now and belongs to this day and age. Its psychedelic pop sound is faintly reminiscent of Lana del Rey‘s dreamy melancholy, and yet you‘ll come to realize: It‘s unique in a way that has never been heard before. Lisa Who is a part-time songstress in a jazz duo and a member of the band Madsen. She‘s a songwriter for other musicians, but this here belongs to her alone. And to the present moment. Are you coming along? Close your eyes then. Briefly raise your toes, no matter where you are right now. Cross the threshold. Can you feel it? That‘s exactly how it‘s supposed to be.