VIDEO PREMIERE: Lisa Papineau Braves the Storm With Orchestral Folk Song “Little Hell”

One would be hard-pressed to think of a more quintessential go-to artisan for dynamic and progressive new music than Lisa Papineau. She began her performance career in experimental theatre and has since amassed a body of work that spans albums, film soundtracks, art installations, dance and theater productions, narration and producing, but is best known for her own mold-breaking voice – which Tori Amos once declared to have “…the power of Bon Scott and yet the lyricalness in the voice of a reed instrument.” Papineau can possess an unmistakably hushed yet still-beating heart-in-hand vocal style or tear screams from the same breath. One may even know her voice before they know her name, as we almost couldn’t keep track of her prolific collaborations with, among them, Air, M83, Jun Miyake, Halo Orbit, Jam Da Silva, Anubian Lights, her appearances on the (Academy Award nominated) film Pina, Watchman, Super and Crow II soundtracks, as well as her own projects, Big Sir (her long running project with bassist Juan Alderete) Pet (with composer Tyler Bates) and her eponymous group.

On her fourth solo record, Oh Dead On Oh Love (out on February 15, 2019), Papineau has created an aural canvas of lush but quietly unsettling arrangements: strings, brass, woodwinds, and other traditional instrumentation fuse organically with ambient tones. Vocal harmonies reminiscent of 70s FM radio super groups twine seamlessly through percussive vocalizations, haunting Yma Sumac or Meredith Monk-like swells unravel into plaintive shouts. After fleshing out the world of the album, Papineau was able, to her great joy and contentment, to collaborate with many longtime musical partners: Tyler Bates, Jam Da Silva, Juan Alderete, Matthew Embree, and Koool G Murder to name a few.

Today Glide is excited to premiere the new video for “Little Hell”, one of the standout tracks on Oh Dead On Oh Love. Set to a slideshow of old photos and grainy black and white footage of boats in turbulent seas, Papineau delivers a hauntingly beautiful vocal performance that balances her own unique singing style alongside choir-like harmonies. Her voice is complemented by orchestral folk instrumentation, creating a sweeping sense of drama.   

Papineau shares her own story about the inspiration behind “Little Hell” and its video:

“I’ve always been interested in stories that don’t wrap up handily. For all the happily ever after tales told, so many of the great ones we all hold dear are about being untethered, lost in the storm, doomed in love. ‘Little Hell’ is the tiniest, jankiest joke of a boat on the water. There is no illusion of holding together against the waves; the voyage is doomed from the get-go. It still says ‘F it’ and braves on. We touch on something so vibrant when let the solid ground under our feet slip away… when we stop clinging to the perfect ending.

In talking about the video for ‘Little Hell’, Betsy discussed the use of stereographs as ‘what used to be social media 125 years ago.’ We take in so much content in such a small period of time these days… it is beautiful to ruminate on a story that takes place in unhurried scenarios. Also, these places seem timeless when we look at them now… it’s strange to think that most don’t exist anymore. We’ve lost a sense of uncontained space as well as the idea of taking one’s time.”


Oh Dead On Oh Love is out February 15, 2019. For more music and info visit Lisa Papineau on Facebook

Photo: Marianne Williams

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