Lisa Marini – Born in Tribes

Album Review | Self Release | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 4/5

Lisa Marini may well have become a lost soul had it not been for the healing power of music.  Despite a problematic adolescence, absconding at a young age, bits of petty crime, drugs and busts, unstable parenting and resulting despair, music arrived at a crucial moment, steering its liberating raft gently towards a teenage girl, in which an artistic bent is subsequently revealed.  It’s not an uncommon story, where art plays a valuable part in rehabilitation and thankfully Lisa Marini found her muse through words and music, which now resonates in an atmosphere of contemporary rhythms and rich vocal textures. 

There’s an essence of Amy Winehouse stored away here, in the way in which Lisa blends her jazz influences with an indie sensibility, occasionally popping up in the timbre of Lisa’s vocal delivery.  There’s also a sense of liberation and change in some of Lisa’s highly personal lyrics, which is symbiotically captured in the Escher influenced cover illustration, courtesy of Anna Millais.  In the opener “Piece by Peace”, Lisa pleads for cleansing, almost setting out her desire from the off.  “Everything changed throughout the making of this album” Lisa declares on the inner sleeve, a statement that takes precedence, a mantra of hope and optimism.  It takes a few plays through before we feel equipped to empathise and truly connect, but once the connection is made, it’s tangible.  With Born in Tribes, Lisa comes through the dark times with a statement that any new artist would be proud of.

Choice Track: I’ve Been a Thief (NSV 504)