Posts Tagged ‘Robin Edwards’

Lisa Prank is a true blue romantic. In fact, “I’m very preoccupied with romance,” songwriter Robin Edwards admits, “and I’m always trying to figure out what the deal with love is.” On her new record, “Perfect Love Song”, Edwards acknowledges the ultimate joke of love: that there is no perfect, so you’ll get tripped up while chasing it but what else could possibly be more rich, more exhilarating, more everything, skinned knees be damned? Stitching together pop punk panache and pillow talk introspection, Perfect Love Song finds Lisa Prank not in pursuit of the
flawless impossible, as the title may suggest. Rather, she’s interested in the entire experience of love and learning through it. “I never learned how to be mad,” Edwards sings on the reflective “Get Mad” but she did learn how to write totally gratifying pop songs about it, with the end of “processing my feelings, and hoping that other people can relate if they’ve been in a similar situation.” Perfect Love Song is an album that takes a soft focus gaze at romance’s sharpest points and edges, both the exciting peaks and the scary cliffs.As Edwards was navigating a drawn out, Lifetime movie level heartbreak, she found herself drifting back towards the home she had in her friendships. She moved back into her old room in storied Seattle punk manse, Spruce House, sharing a door with Tacocat’s Bree McKenna. She’d knock and ask McKenna for feedback on songs, who wound up playing guitar on the record. To produce, Edwards tapped old friend Rose Melberg of Tiger Trap. Melberg’s artistic alignment and personal closeness to Edwards gave her near psychic insight into Lisa Prank’s sonic goals,
but at enough remove to provide breakthroughs to Edwards at stuck points. It was a collaboration that felt like coaching. She helped Edwards step back and look at harmonies, percussion, guitar tones she may have not considered at first, but that helped her achieve her ideal polished punk sound.

Plus, it was fun in the studio, with friends around, creating the kind of lighthearted, mutually supportive feeling one needs surrounding them feel like themselves again after retrieving their heart back from a breakup.

“I love love songs, or falling out of love songs,” explains Edwards, “where I can see one moment of the situation and know what the whole story is.” Writing Perfect Love Song was Edwards’ opportunity “to personally say all the things that I wanted to say, or wish I had said.” In “Scream the Truth,” a gaslighting extinguisher anthem about reclaiming your sanity, she gets to be mad on her terms: “I wasn’t losing my mind,” she sings. Says Edwards, “its about seeing someone else navigate the world as a very nice guy whose very woke and feminist or whatever, and knowing the truth about him.” The first track, “Rodeo,” likens the searing, sinking in feeling of a
post fight realization “‘cause ‘I don’t wanna be in love’/means I don’t wanna be in love/with you” to the dangers and desires of the spectacle of love. “By now I know/this is the rodeo I chose,” she sings, electing to get back on her horse and ride, acknowledging the pain that’s part of that game.

“I wish a different emotion was so alive and exciting to me,” Edwards laughs, “but love is just the one that feels so visceral and consuming!” Perfect Love Song explodes the roller coaster snapshots of romance in bursts of poppy neon bright color, with Edward’s cheeky perspective
polished to full shine. “Lisa Prank has humor to it,” she says. “Some of the songs are really sad to me, but it’s still fun pop punk.” And the mission of that genre, one could argue, is to keep on bopping along through the bullshit of life. To stay buoyant, to find fun in the big what ifs and whatevers.

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It what keeps the dream Lisa Prank afloat: as she sings on “Constellation,” “still I keep on hoping this is some perfect love song/and we’ll go on and on and on, and on and on, and on.”
releases October 4th, 2019
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With summer lying in wait, Lisa Prank is coming out of hibernation and embracing the sun. Robin EdwardsSeattle-based solo project has gained a dedicated following thanks to her bubbly sound and all-too-relatable lyrics. Following 2014’s exceptional Crush on the World, Lisa Prank returns with a breezy but focused collection of meticulously crafted bedroom pop gems. “Adult Teen”, the project’s forthcoming record, is dominated by bruised romanticism, introspective longing, and a palpable sense of desire, building a sound heavily influenced by 90s pop punk and the decade’s lighthearted culture.

Robin Edwards performs all of the Lisa Prank songs live with an electric guitar and a Roland MC-505 drum machine, delivering memorable performances with ease. Thanks to that fact, Lisa Prank has become a project that’s frequently celebrated among Edwards‘ peers, some of whom, including Bree McKenna and Emily Nokes of Tacocat, Julia Shapiro of Chastity Belt, and Andrew Sullivan and Ian Dugas of The Trashies contributed performances to the record. Lisa Prank has shared the stage with bands like Waxahatchee, Tacocat, and Pony Time. She also contributed vocals on Childbirth’s Women’s Rights album for Suicide Squeeze Records. “Adult Teen” was recorded and mixed by Eric Randall (Tacocat), mastered by Carl Saff, with artwork by Faye Orlove.

Adult Teen is out now with a limited cassette release on Miscreant Records.

Lisa Prank performing live in the KEXP studio. Recorded July 21st, 2016.

Songs:
Luv Is Dumb
Starting Again
Turn It Up
Take It All

Lisa Prank - Adult Teen

The history of one-person pop-punk bands is not exactly a long and storied one.  Lisa Prank, from Seattle, is carrying the flame for one-person pop-punk bands, and she’s doing it beautifully.

Based on the punny name, you’d expect Lisa Prank, whose real name is Robin Edwards, who plays live with a guitar, a drum machine, and no other human beings. And she’s not averse to lyrical cleverness. The rickety home-recording setup is just as catchily tinny . But she’s much less about schtick and much more about exploring messy relationships and romantic miscommunications. There’s a fair amount of Coleen Green or maybe Waxahatchee in what she does, though it’s filtered through a childhood immersed in the arena pop-punk of the late ’90s. (She covers Blink-182’s “Dammit” live.) And there’s a young, fucked-up romanticism to what she’s singing: “When I’m not falling, I am looking for a ledge / And then you kiss me, and I’m jumping in your bed.”

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Edwards’ great influences might be bands like New Found Glory and Jimmy Eat World, but in what she does, I hear something slightly older: Edwards is quick to make a self-effacing lyrical joke, the type that takes someone else down with her: “I stick my tongue in your mouth to keep your words from coming out.” Like them, she has an endlessly sharp sense of melody that shines through even though her whole recording setup is pretty rudimentary. And as with those bands, her real greatest weapon is a sense of vulnerability that shows through when you might not be expecting it. “You say you’re not still drinking / You just started again,” she sings on “Starting Again,” the first track on her new “Adult Teen” album, and she stretches “again” out to maybe eight syllables, hiccuping over the second half of the word and wringing all the heartbreak out of it. And then: “I swear I don’t still miss you / I just started again.” When it hits you the right way, it’s heavy stuff.

Edwards started the Lisa Prank project at home in Denver, and then she moved to Seattle at the urging of the band Tacocat when she realized she didn’t have much else going on. These days, she lives in a Seattle punk house with a couple of members of Tacocat, and that band’s Eric Randall produced Adult Teen. It’s a cheap, shiny record, but it’s much more cleaned-up and listenable than Crush On The World, the hissy, scrappy lo-fi cassette EP that she released two years ago. (A couple of Crush On The World songs show up, rerecorded, on Adult Teen.) With the sharper production, Edwards’ lyrics and melodies get to glow, and a relatively mellow jangle like “Turn It Up” takes on a resonance that reminds me of prime Beat Happening.

This is still a scrappy, home-recorded take on pop-punk music, but the songs and the hooks and the feelings are all very much there. Part of me hopes that, next time around, Edwards finds herself out in front of a full-on band, so maybe the drums won’t sound so dinky and maybe the songs will get a chance to sound as huge as I know they can. But it’s also cool to hear someone bringing the one-person pop-punk band forward into a new decade and doing it in an entirely non-gimmicky way.

Adult Teen is out june 24th via Father/Daughter Records on vinyl and Miscreant Records on tape. Stream it at Bandcamp.

The most important thing about pop-punk — the crucial thing that people forget all the fucking time — is that the “pop” has to hit as hard as the “punk.” This song remembers that. “Starting Again” is transparently a home recording, with a dinky click-track standing in for actual drums, but it’s still bold and bright and loud and hooky. Robin Edwards, the person behind the project, has a tough seen-it-all growl and a great mocking na-na-na delivery. But on “Starting Again,” she’s still vulnerable and real, pining over old memories and aching for some asshole who can’t tear himself away from his bad habits. It’s an intense and personal song, but one that could also make for a big-room screamalong. It is, in short, what a pop-punk song should be

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