Lisa Caruso takes us through her stellar EP, Stretching, Track by Track

Lisa Caruso

Lisa Caruso‘s debut album of 2020, In Feelings, was one that was played on repeat in our household and was a Christmas gift for many friends and family. It’s been revisited many times since, so we’ve been looking forward very much to the next body of work from the gifted singer/songwriter. Today, Caruso has released Stretching, an EP comprising five songs, that is every bit as engaging as its predecessor.

Moving away from the guitar-driven sound of In Feelings, Caruso has opted against playing it safe, and ventured into new territory, this time heading for the electric piano.

The record kicks off with the emotive “What If My Body Could Love Like You”, featuring her trademark soaring vocals. It’s a reminder to love the body you are in. Give up the insta scrolling and find the beauty and glory in your own skin. Not afraid to mix it up genre-wise, “Bright Lights” is a breakup song with a country twang.

“It’s Cool” is jam-packed with all the feels, and there are some lyrics there that jolt – “It’s cool that you’re cool, you’re cool with hurting me”. There are some tom-toms in the background, to accompany the beating heart of this emotional banger. Fragility and strength are nestled side by side, and it’s one of my favourites off the record.

Heading into the pop world is the “Do You Work Out?”, showcasing the powerful vocals of Caruso. I’ve seen it performed a couple of times live. It rocks!

“Your Show” is a triumphant end to a fabulous EP. It’s a call to live your own life, your own way.

To celebrate the release of the EP, Lisa has written a track-by-track breakdown of the EP for the AU. Do press play, read on and enjoy the beauty of another amazing collection of songs.

Track by Track – Lisa Caruso – Stretching

What If My Body Could Love Like You

So began a new soundscape of synth for this collection of songs. It was during lockdowns that this song started. I was engaging in social media a lot more, and noticed ads ramping up with the forever notion of body trends and dieting, and all that BS. Everything felt under a microscope. Whilst this song grew out of frustration heard in the inherent vocal cries in the post-chorus hooks, I also hoped for a softness that might add to the pool of self-love that does surface if your eyes are open to it!

Bright Lights

Having taken to keys after a guitar-driven set of previous songs, I was really enjoying playing with simple seventh chords on my new CP7 as building blocks. I had been listening to alot of Jonathon Wilson at the time and loved the idea of a very chill, laid back kind of vibe with a wafty head voice floating over the top and a tight drum beat. It’s a breakup song that’s earnest in verses, and lands heavy in choruses, bringing back the mighty baritone and a touch of country twang.

It’s Cool

I didn’t imagine I would include a ‘slow burn’ on this 5 track EP, but in the end, doing it justice meant just that. It’s got all the feels, especially when listened to with cans! I’d been loving Lana Del Ray’s newest albums, so the distant drumming seemed to slot right in. The main melody fell out organically, and I was then keen to explore some pointy vocal harmonies. It doesn’t scream this sentiment, but it’s ultimately an ode to finding security and reliance in oneself rather than seeking it elsewhere.

Do You Work Out?

Asking the question of mind rather than body, I like a good repetitive chorus to drive the point home! I decided to let go of any genre inhibition here, and think that my 90s childhood love of pop seeped through. Uncomfortably honest, there are definitely some dear diary moments if you can focus on the intent of the lyric and read between the lines. I’ve been enjoying more movement in melody, and I do like a good bop. This always seems to be a favourite when played live.

Your Show

Based on a chordal motif, it was feeling very 60s to begin with, which landed the idea of the ‘speak say’ outro. I was really enjoying the simplicity of it all, and then layer upon layer it grew into something quite huge in production. A finale! Literal and direct in lyric, it’s about the pressures that can be placed on artists. It’s a call to let go of existential notions and just ‘do life’ and art your own way. It’s personally about finding the balance as a means to keep going, and also celebrates and embraces what’s yet to come.

Stretching from Lisa Caruso is out now on all streaming platforms.

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Bruce Baker

Probably riding my bike, taking photos and/or at a gig. Insta: @bruce_a_baker