, April 18th, 2012 05:10
One could maybe be forgiven for being suspicious of Lissy Trullie. The sylph-like New York-based former model will no doubt appeal to the sort of people who think the epitome of cool is a festival headlined by The Strokes with Jack Daniel's branding, though cast your prejudices aside. Nothing elicits cries of derision more than the phrase model-turned-singer (or model-turned-anything for that matter) probably from the sort of people who troll messageboards telling Samantha Brick she has a funny face. The rest of us (for we are open-minded and urbane sorts) should listen up.
The self-titled debut album has been a long time coming, from an artist born Elizabeth McChesney. Having released a debut EP, Self-Taught Learner in early 2009, the autodidact has had plenty of time to get her shit together. Having worked tentatively on tracks with Bernard Butler at the end of the last decade (before binning them), she eventually went with producers John Hill (Santigold, MIA) and Dave Sitek of TV On The Radio, and so here we are finally. For those few of you who've been holding out, it lives up to expectation. For the rest of us it's a knee-tremble-inducing thwack to the ass!
First up, Lissy's insouciant delivery and impressive range, which scales the heavens one minute and fills her boots the next, marks her out as a singer of some considerable talent, and her voice is always engaging and likable. Then there are the songs, from the spiky and infectious new wave pop of 'X Red' to the maudlin majesty of 'Madeleine', a song that emotes great suffering, and healing too. "Madeleine," she sings, "all our wiring's gone awry, hope the doctor makes it right... all our insides in a pile, dark blue with iodine". It's bold and graphic, and quite depressing actually - but as the band kicks in so does a glimmer of hope, and a plaintive and despairing track becomes something entirely moving.
If on occasion the angular hooks of tracks like 'You Bleed You' sound like they're a little behind the curve (and chances are they were in production when that particular sound was au courant) then there's plenty of excellent songwriting to negate any concerns of this nature. 'Caring' has the jaunty charm of 'Don't Get Me Wrong' by the Pretenders on a first listen, and on repeat listens should set your heart to bursting. But best of all is opener 'Rules We Obey', which commences bravely, with simple organ followed by military snare and Trullie's naked vox, before soaring to magnificence with the help of an understated flugelhorn.
It's not Lissy's fault that God made her beautiful. Leave any hostility at the door, and fall truly, madly, deeply in love with this record.