When we were young we remember being told by our parents that, “life was hard“. That’s part of the problem with growing up with parents that had no money. We’re not chasing sympathy here, but today’s recommendation tap straight into that misguided parental advice, so much so in fact that it manages to do that most difficult of things – it taps into a significant emotion in the every-man. This ability to speak to the underdog, or channel feelings that resonate with the common man, is one of the most powerful and endearing elements that any song writer can tap into. Today, we deliver one of those artists, one that repeats this trick so naturally it’s as if she’s been watching over us like some kind of omnipresent guardian. This isn’t just music, it’s music designed for YOU.
Liphemra, is the solo artist Liv Marsico, based in Los Angeles. She’s been known under various guises, making the title ‘artist’ more correct than its usual application when discussing musicians, but here it rings true, as you may have seen her playing the drums for a band called Gothic Tropic, or as the director of several music videos, for the likes of Homeboy Sandman and Nocando. Directing in her spare time allowed her the freedom to complete a wonderful video for her debut track, which you can see below. This exceptionally engaging video enjoyed a UK premier on the established British music site, The 405, earlier this month. As beautiful as her work behind the camera is, it is with her music that we are most impressed.
So what of her sound? Well, the song that’s earned all the praise so far is Young. It’s a show-stoppingly great song that will have you imagining Radiohead‘s tune, Reckoner. We wish to tread carefully with such a reference, particularly in a week when Alt-J have found themselves somewhat humbled by comparisons to Radiohead, dismissing such statements as placing “quite a lot of pressure on us“, calling them “premature“, which is entirely fair enough when you consider Alt-J have just one album out. Matching the famous Oxford band up with Liphemra is even more futile, but she’s bottled up the tone and intensity of Reckoner to wonderful effect, channelling far more of it’s aesthetic than Alt-J ever would.
Young‘s dark atmosphere and taught guitar riff drifts slowly into view and proves to be a piece of sublime artistry. Her voice calls out of the darkness in a pressured, rhythmical refrain, “Come on, alright, let’s go, gotta work a little harder/ get up, alright c’mon, gotta go a little farther”. The drowning swirl continues for two minutes, before she breaks the pace up in order to state the source of the darkness, “When we were young, when we were young, our parents always told us life would be no fun”. It’s absolutely stunning. Just like Radiohead she’s found an advanced level of song-craft by looking beyond the traditional set up of a band, with guitars, vocals and a drummer. Instead she is discovering a sound that seems limitless. Vocals are repeated in steady rhythms, delicately-placed samples dart around your headphones like firing synapses, all delivered in sections, making songs within songs.
She’s mentioned how the “music I make comes directly from the subconscious“, tapping into emotions and urges, feelings and triggers. This is music that doesn’t just source it’s ideas from the deepest parts of the mind, but by not over-thinking, or targeting ideas too specifically she avoids the cerebral and is able to design something beautifully emotional. She remains unsigned and no specific official releases are planned, let alone having a debut album in sight, but we’ve been informed that they’re preparing the next batch of songs in the studio. She takes her moniker from the word, Ephemera, which means “something of no lasting significance“. Like a burning flame, her work is both bright and dangerous, but even though she wishes for her music to be intangible, fleeting and emotive, by making songs this touching she can actually make a lasting connection with us all. (MB)
LIPHEMRA – YOUNG
LIPHEMRA – YOUNG (TATF REMIX)