Joanne Robertson – The Lighter (2008)

The new album from Joanne Robertson currently out on Textile Records is currently my favourite lo-fi female singer songwriter spinning my iTunes.  This album is bleak, stark, ominous and incredibly good, I mean I am not going to cover something I don’t like…I don’t think.  I am starting to digress as I can’t think of anything other than “top 5” for the year at this point for this album.

Robertson’s music is the sound of what I love of the lo-fi experience, not exactly recorded in a university dorm bathroom but one that you picture in a dark studio apartment.  Often only Robertson and a guitar she has one other item to add…that voice…haunting and almost child-like…which leads to it to be even more haunting…ya know?  I really love the sound of this album, it feels real, not overproduced (which we see way to much of these days) and is art in itself.  I sometimes get a bit of hassle from “others” who use the sister argument for great art…”I mean my kid can paint that” or “It’s just one person and a guitar, that’s all”, etc, etc..  This is my point, this isn’t for everyone, but for me it is incredible indie songwriter stuff.

Her MySpace page has a quote in her bio that might confuse you at first, but will sink in and make complete sense;

The Lighter has a stark, weird musical beauty that is analogous to Joanne’s visual work. Flatness hide depth. Simplicity masks complexity. The sweet conceals the sour. Opposites attract and overwhelm each other. It’s one of nature’s laws. Or maybe two.

Basically I cannot say enough great things about this release (and for me, who is notoriously dedicated to the male singer-songwriter classification) and cannot recommend it more.  Be her friend on MySpace, head over and buy a copy of the album, look into her previous “punk/noise” stuff, catch a performance of her art/music, do it all.

Take a sip of a wine, kick back in a dark room with headphones with “The Lighter” – it just might change your life.