Album Review: LP – Into the Wild: Live at EastWest Studios EP




Google “somebody left the gate open”, the booming chorus line from the title track of LP’s new album, and the result is copious Yahoo! Answer threads filled with inquisitive TV-watchers who couldn’t ignore the singer howling in a recent Citibank commercial. Although many artists before the ukulele-wielding Laura Pergolizzi reaped the benefits of recurrent advertisements, not many of them recorded their debut major-label EP in front of a live audience or found previous success as a pop songwriter for Rihanna, The Backstreet Boys, and Christina Aguilera. Plus, the 30-seconds of vocal dominance heard in the commercial don’t even begin to unveil the sheer power of LP’s haunting reverb and notes with no expiration date.

The New York-born, Los Angeles-based singer’s voice struts to the top of that mountain in the Citibank ad and demands attention as it swims over a sea of carefully layered ukulele, guitar and drums. Her pop-music writing background extracts traditional song architecture (no avant-garde, chorus-free tracks here), particularly on “Wasted Love”, a foot-tapping, love-gone-wrong tune on which LP croons, “You kept taking, taking, taking every breath I had inside” and “Someday”, which features a soaring set of “oohs” and “ahh”s and lyrics like, “Have fun/Stay young”.

But the live aspect of this EP separates the singer from the pop royalty she’s written for, and as applause erupts after the thunderous opener, “Into the Wild”, the listener teleports to the rug-covered floors of Eastwest studios. It’s here we’re reminded that this album wasn’t concocted in the studio world of auto-tune and synthesizers that dominates today’s pop sphere. This simple-yet-impressive fact rears its head on the show-stealing track “Tokyo Sunrise”, where LP connects lyrics through unique and lengthy embellishments which aptly float over Asian-inspired flutes and chimes.

The album feels like a bubble popping too soon when it ends in 22 minutes after five tracks, but this mop-haired singer is simply priming her audience for a full-length studio release. She’s said, “What I ultimately strive for is that connection with the audience,” and her flair as a songwriter and performer allows her to reach far beyond the walls of Eastwest Studios.

Essential Tracks: “Into the Wild”, “Tokyo Sunrise”, and “Someday”

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