Wendy Eisenberg definitely does not cease to amaze and fascinate. I had favorably reviewed her trio album released on Tzadik, “The Machinic Unconscious”, a radical improvisation album with a high semiotic content. Now this new “Auto” has been released,, an apparently simple record given its pop hues, but really characterized by considerable complexity.
Eisenberg sings, with a confidential chanteuse style, an elegant mix between the vocality of Laetitia Sadier of Stereolab and an exotica singer. This record seems at first sight a postmodern pop record, so many influences, so many references: Stereolab, Mark Hollis, Blemish’s David Sylvian. An elegant and refined album that hides different levels of interpretation. From a certain point of view it is as if Eisenberg had two brains: the voice goes on one side, her guitar on the other, isolated are not very significant, united together they create a truly attractive musical context.
I know. I know what you are thinking. You are thinking this is a dystopian record. Maybe, but I’m tired of this word. With all due respect to Mark Fisher, who made an excellent and innovative use of it in his essays and in his political narration, this word, but above all its use, have tired me. I don’t think “Auto” is a dystopian record. I think it’s mostly a postmodern record. Extremely neat and well produced. With that slight almost low fi surface tension, which makes it even more attractive and “real”. Wendy Eisenberg’s songs and guitar express subjective epic compositions in which the author asks permission to treat the world according to her personal point of view, but which, as they take shape in the ear and mind of the listener , they make some things true and others false, they make some parts credible and others hypocritical, and a person who speaks, who sings alone to the world is never just that.
Other voices, from family, friends, lovers, poets, musical ancestors, historical figures of the past and contemporary, participate in the creation of each new piece. Each note suggests the next, or the one that might come after. The risk of failure inherent in each note of his guitar, inherent in each choice increases from time to time, and the questions become increasingly difficult: what to say? What to play? What vision of life to convey to others? What can I do that hasn’t already been done before? To answer these questions, Eisenberg had to draw on her experiences, her desires, her fears. She did it in a conscious, unconscious, cynical way. Discovering in her music her limits, her desires and the ability to overcome both. “Auto” is a confidential record, made up of songs elaborated in a songwriting form, centrifuged through more complex and articulated musical forms. It is a deceiving record. That seduces. Which satisfies and re-invites you to listen again. To you the choice. You can appreciate its confidentiality and its pop elegance. Or you can try to go deeper and investigate the less obvious, but no less intriguing structures. I am sure that, in any case, it will not disappoint you. This is called trust in one’s own ethics and instincts.