Uncle Tasha aka Natasha Lepine is a musician from Canada who recently released an album entitled awkward. Lepine's music has style that I remember hearing when I first heard Mirah. The music is minimal revolving around mostly guitar and ukulele while she sings in a melancholy and quaint voice. Don’t fool yourself, this is a niche all in of itself. Luckily, for Lepine she pulls it off quite well.
The album starts off with “mount fuji” which at least feels like no more than a short intro into “paris.” Her vocal delivery on this veers towards cute and quaint as she laments about being in Paris, checking out all the fantastic sites and still feeling melancholy inside. She sings, “i'll act like i'm happy gallery to gallery but i'm beginning to isolate myself.”
The melancholy continues with “one last summer night” which has a very similar vibe to “paris.” Next up is “vancouver” which still is melancholy but she switches up the instrumentation with synths or some kind of electric piano.
The highlight is “wells.” It’s the catchiest song and also blends shades of optimism with the shades of sadness. Lepine's lyrics are observational and from a first person perspective. She sings, “fresh air fills my lungs thanks to the trees / we race each other swiftly to the swings / and the grass is stomped and soft and happy.”
“i want my linkin park cd back, you pr*ck” reverts to the vibe of the first couple of songs. She gives a brief introduction to the song “emily carr” and closes with an instrumental piece called “thanks for listening (hold hands).”
I still consider myself young at thirty-five but it’s sometimes hard to listen to someone who has so much of their life ahead writing such sad songs. That being said I remember being that age and relating to Bright Eyes and The Microphones. I feel her music is very honest and raw. People will be attracted to that. One thing I noticed with her lyrics that I also see with a lot of younger songwriters is that the lyrics rely exclusively around her experience. I’ve noticed especially with melancholy that it's sometimes more prolific if the lyricist writes from different perspectives. Take for example a song like “Nude” from Radiohead. Yorke sings, “And now that you found it It's gone.” The line hits hard because it feels like he is singing directly to you. Food for thought.
Lepine has some talent with a lot of potential. I like the minimal route and it worked for this album. That being said I think she will want to look into expanding her arsenal in regards to tools and vibes for future releases.
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