Music Reviews

Carissa’s Wierd

Songs About Leaving

Sad Robot

Like New York’s Ida, Carissa’s Wierd [sic] construct understated pop tunes – sometimes bitter, often despairing or ominous – that blend plaintive male and female vocals with slight stereophonic manipulation and hushed, uncomplicated instrumentation. Songs About Leaving is the follow-up to You Should Be at Home Here (2001) and the debut Ugly But Honest (2000), two albums that justifiably crept into numerous record collections within the Seattle-Portland indie scenes.

One gets the feeling that Jen Ghetto (alias S when she performs solo) and her partner Mat Brooke, who formed the band about eight years ago in Tuscon, are on the verge of emotional collapse, barely coping through yet another destructive concatenation of relationships and life crises. “You should be hated here,” murmurs Ghetto, her voice quavering in anguish, in the opening song of the same name. Three tracks later, she joins Brooke in a subdued plea for respite in the six-minute “September Take This Heart Away.”

Lyrically, Carissa’s Wierd is exquisite. Brooke nostalgically recounts a handful of disjointed vignettes in “A New Holiday (November 16),” a date that is referenced with some bitterness earlier in “Ignorant Piece of Shit” as well as the liner notes. So there is more than just melody and passion to these Songs About Leaving – there is personal history, too.

As the title spells out all too plainly, there is a time and place for this album. But when heard in context of that particular time and place, likely a room heavy with silence and solitude, it would be hard to praise it enough. Tender and angry, confused and resolute, serene and seething, it is a tangle of delicate paradoxes that makes for poignant, passionate listening. It would be a terrible shame if its modest restraint kept the album from creating a buzz among the din of the band’s indie counterparts.

And as a postscript of sorts, there’s no escaping the mark of Death Cab For Cutie’s Chris Walla. He engineered and mixed most of the songs on Songs About Leaving, which is rather surprising, as the dark musical style seems miles away from his involvement with Western State Hurricanes (now The Long Winters) or Death Cab.

Sad Robot Records: http://www.sadrobotrecords.com/


Recently on Ink 19...

Porn and Ice Cream

Porn and Ice Cream

Screen Reviews

Three aimless misfits find themselves a purpose when they unwittingly start a band. It’s not your typical rock story, as Ian Koss explains.

Fire and Iceland

Fire and Iceland

Interviews

New York filmmaker April Anderson talks with Bob Pomeroy about volcanoes, horses, and making documentaries in Iceland.

Best of Film 2022

Best of Film 2022

Screen Reviews

With a year of festival and microcinema screenings behind them, Lily and Generoso select and review their ten favorite films, six supplemental features, and one exceptional repertory release of 2022.

Laura Citarella

Laura Citarella

Interviews

Director Laura Citarella, of the famed filmmaking collective El Pampero Cine, has created with her newest feature Trenque Lauquen a provocative transformation of her protagonist Laura (Laura Parades), whom Citarella first introduced in her 2011 film Ostende. Lily and Generoso enjoyed an in-depth conversation with Citarella about Trenque Lauquen when it screened at AFI Fest 2022.

New Music Now 009: Sleepyhead

New Music Now 009: Sleepyhead

Features

Join us for a new edition of New Music Now, with our special musical guest, Sleepyhead. All three members of the band are school teachers, so you didn’t hear it from us, but there might be a pop quiz about their album New Alchemy after the show.

Joana Pimenta

Joana Pimenta

Interviews

Back in 2018, Lily and Generoso selected Adirley Queirós’s Once There Was Brasilia as a top ten film. That feature’s cinematographer, Joana Pimenta, has now co-directed with Queirós one of the most expansive political films we’ve seen this year, Dry Ground Burning. Lily and Generoso interviewed Pimenta at AFI Fest earlier this month.

%d bloggers like this: