Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Reviews:: Lisa Bozikovic Lost August

One of my favorite things to look for when the Year-End floodgates open are bands/albums that affected other artists over the course of the previous year. When it comes to '09, the one new name that kept coming up was Toronto's Lisa Bozikovic. Her record - Lost August - was recommended to us by a few musicians we trust and love, and despite the staggering depth of the record that hits you right out of the gate (and even in today's 'me first' blog culture), I wanted to wait until the new year to talk about this unique song writer, so Ms. Bozikovic wouldn't get lost in the shuffle.

I had no idea what to expect when I hit play on Lost August. It's rare that a record gets sent my way that I have never heard of, so I wanted to relish the excitement and let her songs soak in without any context or preconceptions. The talented multi-instrumentalist writes songs on piano, organ, accordion and guitar, and remarkably uses each sound and texture to weave a beautiful, perfectly flowing tapestry.

With support from some terrific artists - members of Ohbijou and Steamboat make appearances on Lost August - Bozikovic's songs are diverse and detailed, but still crackle with a spontaneity often lost in the melancholic world she prefers to write about. She can strip back any superfluous sound to expose a single, pure emotion (remarkably over spare piano keys, strums or accordion), but Lisa is just as comfortable spiking the tempo and energy with quick moving melodies (Phone Card) or lush, well constructed arrangements (the organ heavy Take and Take).

But without question, what Lisa does best is executing a subtle shift and just the right time. She pulls you close as she whispers her words on No Denial, and just before you hang your head and wish for something better for her (and you), James Bunton's drums kick in, strings are added, and some surging harmonies. The confessional builds into something epic, but remarkably stays grounded to its roots.

Lost August accomplishes something remarkable; it plays start to finish (and with help from co-producer Sandro Perri) and you wouldn't change a note. Lisa's voice is different, slightly off-kilter but full of soul and heart. You can't decide if she's a folk artist with a soaring imagination or a dreamer that makes sure to keep one foot on the ground just in case. Whatever side of the fence you think her songs rest, we can all agree that this young Toronto singer is a talent we should all keep an ear on.

MP3:: Lisa Bozikovic - Phone Cord

MP3:: Lisa Bozikovic - No Denial

MYSPACE:: http://www.myspace.com/lisabozikovic

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Posted at 8:40 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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