Saturday, 13 September 2014

i check the weather in los angeles and i think about you in that heat

A severe heat warning has been in effect in LA since yesterday morning. It will continue into Monday night, and I think I'm finally ready to talk about the Allison Crutchfield EP - Lean In To It.

Every morning that I step out into the stifling heat of Los Angeles, I sing in my head "I check the weather in Los Angeles and I think about you in that heat." Then I hit play on SUPERMOON in my car and have just enough time to hear most of the EP on my short drive to work.

Recorded and performed by Allison and Sam Cook-Parrott of Radiator Hospital, Lean In To It is a 7 song synth pop EP. Beats loop under flourishes of bass and keyboard as Allison sings beautifully and with painstaking sincerity about mysterious people and themes. LITI sets a tone, and on first listen I didn't know what to make of it. I'm not sure why, but I found it confusing. Maybe because I'm so familiar with Allison's style in Swearin' (though she warned me this record was way different).  I instantly recognized it was beautiful, of course. I'm not sure the girl is capable of making anything less than stunning, but it was a grower for sure.

Allison shares vocal duties with Sam on certain songs,  most effectively on Rose Knows. They sing a call and response, playing different characters. Rose is reluctant to let the male character in, but he is relentless. I guess that's what's different about this record. It doesn't feel autobiographical. It feels theatrical.

"I walk through you like you're dirty snow."

No One Talks is my favorite track of the moment, but really they're all great. I am a total lyrics person, and Allison clearly pays close attention to her words. Her vocabulary must be 10 times the size of mine. It's embarrassing how long it took me to wrap my mind around the meaning of...

"I don''t wanna be a victim or a muse in your flimsy depiction of acquiring conviction. I never needed any recognition."

I get the feeling that I'm not smart enough to fully grasp Lean In To It, so I obsessively listen again and again, hoping that it will eventually all make sense to me. For now, I'm happy to get lost in it while I work through this punishing heat wave.

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