Globelamp // The Orange Glow
Psychedelic Thriftstore Records
Recommended Track(s): Washington Moon
The 20th century (and this one) is chockfull of limp comparisons to quantum physics: the idea that particles aren’t really there, that they’re merely “energy,” and, most fundamentally, that these “energies” can exist in two places simultaneously. Perhaps people of the 22nd century will look back on us as charlatan buffoons, shaking their heads, better able to communicate complex dualities of emotion using solely emojis and Facebook® Telepathy. Hopefully these cuneiform-wielding geniuses don’t neglect Globelamp’s first full-length effort, The Orange Glow.
As the solo project of Elizabeth le Fey, this Joel Jerome-produced album remains decidedly confessional, a traumatic affair in a dysfunctional relationship with its own time signatures. While a backing band spans the majority of the record, the instrumentation (“rock band” + strings + Wurlitzer) never overshadows le Fey. Perhaps a mark of Jerome’s production capabilities, le Fey speeds up and slows down as she pleases, belts gleefully and howls painfully, strums a lonesome guitar and suddenly fronts what feels like a 6-piece outfit. Even in the most produced, most angelic moments (these holy interruptions could be one of the record’s criticisms–—the many sacred interludes wane in affect), le Fey never loses her connection with the listener.
Personal and intimate, this is a record about le Fey, about her traversal of an emotional landscape. Given her magnetic live performances, it offers an accurate representation of the artist (one of those, “if you love her live, you’ll love her on this record”). The most intriguing aspect of The Orange Glow is its simultaneous placement within multiple decades of influence. Vocally, le Fey could be categorized with 60s psych (Joplin), 90s grunge (Sinead O’Connor), 00s Indie Rock (The Microphones), mid-‘00s Brooklyn folk (Grizzly Bear sans vocal harmonies) and even the strange genre where Rock meets Caucasian Gospel (Cowboy Junkies). The track “Piece of the Pie” stands out against the predominantly confessional record; it’s grungy in the most obvious way, a throwback to early ‘90s MTV alt rock; ironically, that’s exactly what’s great about it; it feels fresh against this generation of distorted 3-piece art rock bands (Yuck being the first of many that comes to mind.)
The best thing going for Globelamp could be the idea that le Fey can take the concept project wherever she wants. In this day and age of marketed acts—and the notion that an educated public is aware of the machine behind these commodified projects—it’s exciting to find an artist who can, despite what her lyrics state, exist in multiple places at once, or, at least, in multiple sections of the record store.