THE PLEASURES OF SELF DECEPTION
“After me the flood.”
LIJO ANALYSES THE EFFECTS OF NAVEL-GAZING IN ‘THE PLEASURES OF SELF DECEPTION’
Aren’t we thinking about ourselves a lot? On a small scale, we all are the main characters of our own little shows. On a bigger one we act like we are the main character in this world. And the importance we grant ourselves might wear us down. Eccentric and literate songstress LIJO addresses this and its consequences, but then decorates it with a sense of lightheartedness and danceability, flowing melodies and feverish sounds. Because as she puts it, all we can and should do is add beauty to a world that needs it.
Debut album THE PLEASURES OF SELF DECEPTION, a collection of both catchy and poetic art-pop songs, sets an icy scene for LIJO to casually dance from cynical indifference to gnawing doubt and from distant observance to the longing for connection.
The record sketches a chillier portrayal of LIJO than her former EP did, but it's even more compelling as it underlines her creative wit and the non-conformism that has always characterised her music.
Connecting her innate love for the warm sound of acoustic instruments and her fascination for the cold directness of electronic drums and synths, THE PLEASURES shows LIJO’s broadest picture and deepest soundscape so far. Thematically, the songs form a collection of critical analyses of human behaviour and its effects.
From the catchy melodies of ‘BEE SUITS' to the feverish trance of ‘LETTING GO’, THE PLEASURES OF SELF DECEPTION is a record in which LIJO never loses sight of the literate songwriting that is one of her most powerful trademarks. Yet her songs are based on such energetic grooves and innovative melodies that despite the urgency of her message, we're most likely going to dance to its beat.
“Inside I cry like a wolf to the moon
But in these lights, I’m blind and mute
I’m scared, what’s everybody doing?
I want out”
“I bite my tongue and I walk a tightrope high above the city
I look down and the people buy flowers and drinks
I look down and the people wear bee suits and sting
I look down and the people in corners are fading
I look down and the people look down
No one ever looks up”
“I’m a future memory
Speaking with my mouth full
Everybody’s in it
“There’s a big wave coming for us,
In the distance I can see it
Just keep driving, we’ll outrun it,
Our system knows a shortcut, baby.”
TRACK BY TRACK
THE PLEASURES OF SELF DECEPTION
Aren’t we thinking about ourselves a lot? On a small scale, we all are the main characters of our own little shows. On a bigger one we act like we are the main character in this world. And the importance we grant ourselves might wear us down.
Artpop artist LIJO addresses this and its consequences, but then decorates it with a sense of lightheartedness and danceability, innovative melodies and feverish sounds. Because as she puts it, all we can and should do is add beauty to a world that needs it.
LOVE, PLEASE is about the pressure of being successful, special and unique. It's a quirky and cynical introduction to the overall theme of the record: the lies we tell ourselves to justify our actions and/or to keep going.
DOG EYES narrates about being unable to open up to one another and let somebody in, and telling yourself it's for the better because you are sure to lose the other one anyway.
BEE SUITS was written with the idea of zooming out on people from above, and realising everybody is living their own lives in a bubble, convinced of their own beliefs and judgements. Intertwined is the story of two people failing to connect.
FUTURE MEMORY shines a light on the consequences of human arrogance, selfishness and the unstoppable hunger for growth.
SPELL is the only obvious break up song on the record, narrating about seeing somebody fall for someone else.
DEVILS IN DETAILS is about the price you pay for trying to fit in, and the endless competition for success against all costs and moral beliefs.
I WANT OUT marks a turning point on the record; while most songs on the first half have a cynical tone of voice and feel distant and icy, I WANT OUT feels urgent and darker, as it talks about feeling trapped in a world that's going down.
CRAZILY SANE is a personal, poetic song about jealousy and projection in a toxic relationship between friends.
WICKED SUN is a melancholic song about climate change.
LETTING GO is a feverish track about the insecurity of your choices, people telling you what to do and the fear that your dreams are insane and unreachable.
THE ART OF ESCAPE is a nostalgic, minimalistic song about realising we cannot go back in time, and we cannot lie to ourselves.