The tracks on Lisa Caruso‘s new album ‘In Feelings’ provide a gloriously impassioned tableaux for emotion and pain: honestly expressed and rendered with a theatrical flourish and a hint of troubled glamour.
Caruso recorded parts of the album back in 2018 in London with producer Ben Fletcher (Sarah Blasko and Marina and the Diamonds) before returning to Sydney to finalise the tracks. These were years of personal challenges through illness and periods of debilitation:
In love, in strife, in sickness and in health; it is with strength though vulnerability that all of life’s bright shades and darker shadows create ‘In Feelings’.
Indeed the album blasts into your consciousness with the opening track, ‘Shake Baby Shake’ which is almost a cathartic blast by Caruso against her troubles – and you can feel the anger and frustration and yet the fierce determination that sparks her songs.
The ominous thundering deep piano forms a bed for Caruso’s delectable voice – there’s a P.J Harvey enigma about it – studied, slightly distant and full of determined force. The video is close, almost claustrophobic, unadorned and raw:
‘Dream Lover’ delivers a plaintiff cry for relevance born out of the frustration of being invisible – a feminist cri de coeur perhaps with the same unflinching mesmerising video style:
There is without doubt a whiff of a troubled femme fatale – a fifties touch of glamour, sixties pop sensibility and a very modern freshness and transparency of emotion.
There is an element of deep introspection – self-doubt and vulnerability as expressed in ‘To Call You Mine’ – a Shakespearian romanticism doomed to tragedy and loss. This has a prefect pop delivery that showcases Caruso’s vocal range and melodic strengths. Like many of the tracks on this album, it’s short, sharp and incisive:
The raw emotions from Caruso’s personal challenges are never shied away and never far from the surface: ‘Borrow My Body’, underpinned by crystalline, crunch guitars is reflective and visceral. Harmonies and sharp riffs burn like a fuse: her body is treated as a seperate persona to be given away:
Even when the dim lights are turned up, such as in jaunty ‘A Holiday’, themes of the vast gap between expectations and realities come to the fore.
‘Moonshine’ is a haunting and gorgeous track – and it is here that the Lynchian qualities of Caruso’s music become so evident. It is an anthemic cinematic song with poise and stature. ‘Joni’ is heartachingly beautiful and serene. Throughout, Caruso’s voice is a celestial delight.
‘In Feelings’ is ultimately a beautiful expression of pain and suffering without being morose or pessimistic. There is an etherial quality through out that shines and shimmers through the instrumentation – hints of reverb, chorus and a spine tingling crunch, with Caruso’s torchlight vocals adding a dreamy sheen.
You can get the album through the usual download/streaming sites here or directly though the link below:
Caruso has shared with Backseat Mafia some of her favourite songs and influences – check them out below.