Listening to Globelamp aka Olympia-based songwriter Elizabeth le Fey is akin to viewing the world through a kaleidoscope from every side: all senses and synapses firing at once, every color comprehended, every pattern considered. It’s like being on drugs all the time.
And yet underlying her free-flowing folky psychedelia is treachery and pain, seething anger and a righteous commitment to speaking the truth. She may sport a flower crown and pose coquettishly in heart-shaped sunnies, but woe betide those who’d dismiss le Fey as a harmless hippie chick—Globelamp is a full on Fairy Queen, the kind that spits out swarms of wasps and turns men to trees.
Globelamp’s last tape, the psych-folk inflected Stardust, was a meandering, gossamer-thin collection of tunes recorded over several months that showcased Le Fey’s quirky song structure (rife with abrupt changes in tone and tempo, as if traditional chord progressions are too provincial to contain the enormity of le Fey’s interior life,) knock-out lyrical talents, and distinctive vocals. “Master of Lonely,” a new track from her upcoming record The Orange Glow, isn’t radically different from anything else you’ll find in Globelamp’s oeuvre: the song is sad, the guitar tone crystalline, and the vocals turned right up so you don’t miss a syllable of le Fey’s wordy, meaningful lyrics. Yet le Fey has grown more focused, more controlled. Her arrows are now laced with venom, and her aim is true. The highlight is le Fey’s Stevie-Nicks-Meets-Donovan voice, which zips up and down the musical scale, from gutter to stars and back again, without losing any of its porcelain delicacy. During the chorus le Fey almost duets with herself, growling the first half of a line and then finishing up in a higher register, a fallen angel whispering a curse in your ear: “I know what you’ve done, it doesn’t matter what you tell anyone.”