We have been following the steady ascent of chanteuse Lisa Caruso for a few years now and it is great to be able to hear her new EP ‘Stretching’, a follow up to 2020’s ‘In Feelings’. ‘Stretching is a glowing collection of gems that showcase Caruso’s extraordinary vocals and song writing prowess.
The opening track is the stately and haunting track ‘What If My Body Could Love Like You’. Caruso’s extraordinary vocals stretch and flex over a motorik thrum, filled with a sense of melancholic longing and an indelible melody. Caruso says the track:
…actions the desire to achieve full satisfaction in the skin you live in. Sonically personifying a ‘coming
out of body’ ferocity in post chorus hooks…
It delivers something that is vibrant and powerful, the layers of electronica creating a high voltage stream across which the vocals soar.
The steel strings wail, opening up ‘Bright Lights’, providing a reflective start to a silky smooth ballad showcasing Caruso’s delicious vocals – yearning and dreamy with a hint of cheeky humour. The instrumentation is languid, contrasting with the vibrant patter of percussion that bubble underneath the surface.
Caruso’s vocal again are to the fore in ‘It’s Cool’ – aching with emotion above a sparse synth and piano. A ghostly chorus of vocals add a mysterious luster to the track that burns with an intensity and an inherent pop sensibility.
‘Do You Work Out?’ is a slinky sibilant track with an almost jazzy soul-inflected delivery by Caruso – again thread through with her enigmatic and dry sense of humour.
A soft almost Morse Code-like beep introduces final track ‘‘Your Show’ before the slow burn fuse sparks into a flame. Caruso’s sensuous style is at the fore – languid, yearning and passionate, a ground swell of instrumentation that carries her velvet vocals on a wave, ebbing and flowing, advancing and receding.
In Caruso’s words:
‘In life, in love, in music and art..”- this…track calls upon us to let go of existential notions and ‘do life’ our own way.
Indeed the lyrics express a certain sense of resilience and defiance in the face of change – perhaps one that as an artist and as a woman, Caruso faces in real life:
You had it all planned out
In life, in love, in music and art
I never wanted all the things that came with this
I’m not too old, too different
Balance, don’t listen to them
It’s better when it’s your show
Your show, your show
The sense of unadulterated joy and passion bleeds into the euphoric video directed by Caruso herself and Adam Singer, a hint of impending motherhood and pride perhaps detectable as Caruso dances expressively and immersed in her own world:
‘Stretching’ is an enigmatic collection of songs – deeply personal and yet dealing with universal themes and carried triumphantly on Caruso’s velvet vocals and a bed of electronic-centered instrumentation that builds up visceral layers and lush atmospheres.
The EP is out today and available to download and stream though all the usual sites and through the link below.