Review- “On Personhood”- Gianna Lauren

on personhoodreviewed by Michael Thomas

It’s been quite some time since Gianna Lauren has released a recording, and from what she told us years ago, it’s not that surprising. She’s a bike enthusiast, produced a documentary about midwifery and does lot of community radio hosting as well. But it’s good to see that she’s finally put some new music out there.

This time around, about two-and-a-half years since Some Move Closer, Some Move On, Lauren is backed by J.J. Ipsen and the Paper Crown, who have done some fine work on their own time and do just as fine supporting Lauren. Instrumentals, then, are a little less sparse this time around, giving On Personhood a slightly different feel.

Not that this is a bad thing, of course. Lauren continues to show off her gorgeous voice, with vocals comparable to perhaps Ivy Mairi when she sings softly, and even Feist when she picks up the volume a little.

It is the latter artist that Lauren may remind listeners of in the opener “Trouble.” There’s a slightly sinister feel to this song, perhaps like something from Feist’s Metals, but Lauren’s voice is a little softer, making for a nice contrast in melody and vocals.

“Ghosts” may be the best song on the album, featuring sunny, almost tropical guitar and bass work and cool lines like “There was a time I felt alive.” Later on there’s “Bitches Brew,” a slightly longer song and a thorough study into how quiet Lauren can get. The song also employs some great Hammond organ courtesy of J.J. Ipsen for a bit of welcome ambiance.

“Anchor Down” picks things up again for another sunny track, and “Power Failure” brings things to a close, once again very softly. On Personhood in the end is really a work on contrasts in its switching from upbeat to melancholy. It’s very much the way people are; happy one day and sad the next.

The EP is available from Forward Music.

Top Track: “Ghosts”

Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)

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