LRN GRN Grape Perfume


The most recent EP, Grape Perfume, by singer-songwriter LRN GRN (Lauren Green also of Mirror Travel, formerly Follow That Bird!) not only leaks with eau de parfum, it billows with a purple haze characteristic of the uber feminine aura of Austin contemporaries, LES RAV and Jess Williamson. Released on March 26th of this year, Grape Perfume and its grape-flavored pheremones have had some time to settle on welcoming ears. As Green’s second solo project after the EP Easy Spirits (on which the single “Quilts” inspired a music video about a baleful party girl), this new EP forages a new home on LOOSE Recordings/Manimal Vinyl out of LA. Green’s hushed vocals enliven nostalgia for such nineties jaded female influences as Mazzy Starr (Remember the purple Victorian album cover of So Tonight That I Might See?), and imbue the ethereality of current indie heiresses Grimes and Bat For Lashes.

As a qualifying testament to Water’s purifying nature, the opening track “Imagined Pontoon,” similarly resonating but less buoyant than Painted Palms track “Water Hymn,” bears instead the more illusory and fleeting attributes of the phantom element, Air. Introverted and repetitive, “Imagined Pontoon” ends up in a loop.

The aromatic title track “Grape Perfume” at first sounded like “gramaphone” over and over as if the ritualistic surge of shoegaze teases one’s sense of pronunciation. Halfway in, it becomes a marriage of noise-fringed No Joy and the riff rock and heliotropic hair motions of Lauren LL from Austin’s Ume. “Busy Hours” remains loyal to the continued fashion of Green’s soughing vocals. In this song, busy hours are vital to “be ourselves,” cooes Green. Again, in the carbon copy format of “Imagined Pontoon,” “Busy Hours” rumbles out one last loop of chanting charm before the fade-out.

With lyrics almost indistinguishable if not marginalized intentionally, “Got Cruise Inside Me” reinforces Grape Perfume’s dizzy, spellbinding vibe. If ice cold is cooler than being cool, then “Got Cruise Inside Me” is numbing of heart and impending of a fatal crash. Grape Perfume resuscitates itself with a cover of the classic Neil Young song “Cowgirl In The Sand.”

Given to multiple interpretations about a promiscuous woman to referencing Young himself transitioning from the band Buffalo Springfield to his solo career in the lines “Old enough now to change your name” and “Has your band begun to rust,” the song is rather suitably reinterpreted by a woman who herself is transitioning from the group to exposing her solo tresses. Most notably accomplished across the arc of Grape Perfume is Lauren Green’s ability to dive deep with her vocals, a “depth” wrote Rolling Stone of Young that was paramount to the success of “Cowgirl In The Sand.”

– Audrey Rodriguez