The buzz surrounding Moaning Lisa is palpable. They’ve smashed local comps, pushed the right buttons and stood for what they believed in. And that’s why we love them.
Their new EP The Sweetest plays on the traditional notions of femininity they’ve refused to be held down by since day one. A strong theme belies strong performances, and the emotional weight and personal belief behind this release gives it a strength that’s immediately involving.
Expressive, approachable and steeped in trendy attitude, Moaning Lisa are the Canberra rockers you just wanna be friends with.
The Sweetest comes as a result of Moaning Lisa’s studio package they won from taking out first place in the 2016 National Campus Band Competition.
Recorded over three blinding days at Melbourne’s Ginger Studios with Jimi Lloyd-Wyatt, the undercurrent of objection isn’t the only thing lending brawn to The Sweetest. The production is tight as a nail, and Moaning Lisa’s shoegazey performance never feels messy as a result.
Shoe In opens the EP, setting the scene for a wild, four track ride. The twin vocals of Charlotte Versegi and Hayley Manwaring are in full swing from the get-go, harmonising beautifully despite never relying on sweltering high notes.
New Age Boy struts more dazed, psychedelic territory within its verses, returning to a grungier chorus which flirts with droning guitar lines as mini-outros.
It’s the track in which Moaning Lisa’s narrative for The Sweetest stands taller than ever; a sarcastic portrayal of the singers as a “toy” built for the singular purpose of someone else’s amusement.
When speaking to triple j Unearthed as part of their Girls To The Front initiative on International Women’s Day, Versegi iterated this ideal succinctly:
“As artists and as women, we’re constantly held up to these standards of palatability, of pleasing others. We chose the title ‘The Sweetest’ as we wanted to play on that notion of being ‘sweet,’ toying with the idea of femininity and what it means to be a woman making music.”
More than just lyrically, Moaning Lisa have spear tackled gender roles in music with genre alone. Whether we like it or not, their proposed spaces of grunge, shoegaze and punk have been dominated by men throughout history.
The fact that Moaning Lisa are doing what they are doing takes major bravado, and the delivery is dynamite. With or without their potent message, this band pushes the kind of music that makes you wanna fist-pump and yell “fuck yeah” at the top of your lungs.
Catch Moaning Lisa live on the dates below. And remember: don’t be a dickhead.
Mar 23– Transit Bar, Canberra
Mar 24 – Rad Bar, Wollongong
Mar 25 – Factory Fuzebox, Marrickville
Apr 20 – Brunswick Hotel, Melbourne
Apr 21 – Phoenix, Canberra
Jun 1 – Transit Bar, Canberra