Into the Wild: Live At EastWest Studios
Released on: April 24th, 2012
Label: Warner Bros. Records
Grade: 5 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: Neil Miller, Jr.
Every so often, a voice comes along that’s unique enough that it seems as if it could start a new era in music — one that could very well start a revolution. That’s just happened in the form of a woman named Laura Pergolizzi, who also goes by the name LP and is armed not only with a voice like no other, but also a raging ukulele prowess. There’s a lot of buzz surrounding this woman and for good reason. Her voice recalls everything from Steve Nicks’ subtle rasp, Patti Smith’s knack for defying the idea of "genres," Regina Spektor’s lighter-than-air delivery, and Chrissie Hynde’s ability to turn a lyric into a hook. In other words, this is a voice that just has to be heard to be believed. Besides, any artist whose first major label release is a live EP is surely worth a thorough listen.
When I first heard the opening of “Into the Wild,” the title track and opener of this EP, I honestly wasn’t expecting much. But as soon as LP’s voice rang through my speakers, the warmth took me back to hearing all of my favorite 60s and 70s records on my parents’ record player when I was but three or four years old. Her name might be an abbreviation of her initials, but the LP moniker is also fitting because of the richness that emanates from her vocals — the closest thing to it is the warm crackle of a record spinning on a turntable. And this all happened to me before she even dug into the first chorus. Once the galloping drums start and LP really lets her voice hit higher heights, it’s almost as if nothing else in life matters... this is definitely where it’s at. But it was the next song that really grabbed my soul and officially made a fan out of me.
“Levitator” is a mid-tempo affair that finds LP turning on her inner Gwen Stefani as she sings mostly in her higher register. This is one of those songs that actually conjures up a mood in the listener. Regardless of where you are in life, what you’re feeling, living, etc. — this song will take you to a place that you’ve either been or wish you could be again and bring those emotions to a boil. This song was all it took to open my eyes to how spectacular of an artist LP truly is. To think as well that everything here is live, these five songs are more of a display of authentic imagination and real artistry than we could’ve ever hoped for. The songs are practically flawless, but to present them for the first time in the beast of an element that is a live stage... it’s one of the most daring risks a major label could take with a new artist. The payoff in LP’s case is astronomical: not only does this release lend a huge amount of credibility to her name, it also makes us want to buy the record AND see her live.
To save myself from writing a book about this wonderful artist — and also to save you from having to read one — I’m going to say that simply enough, you have to listen to this EP. It’s only five songs, and I personally guarantee that one of them will grab you. I can pick apart these tracks bit by bit, but they need to be experienced and not just read about. So, do yourself a favor and check out this EP, go see her live at Lollapalooza this August, and download her (FREE!!!) cover of Beyonce’s “Halo” in the SoundCloud player below. Becoming a fan of LP won’t be hard, but preventing yourself from obsessing over her music will be. Luckily, recording sessions for her Warner Bros. debut album are already underway, so there’ll be even more music from her to obsess over soon enough!