The airy pleasantness of Elizabeth le Fey’s voice is one of those sounds that can get you high. le Fey, who performs under the moniker Globelamp, has mastered the art of turning vocal incantations into sonic opioids. Her mellow folk musings masterfully bend space and tones into surprising shapes.
Aside from a brief stint touring with Foxygen, Globelamp has been the primary vehicle for le Fey’s singer/songwriter chops, and her growth as an artist is evident on The Orange Glow, a full-length studio album that debuted earlier this year. While confidence has never been a question (2014’s Star Dust is rife with potent lyrics and playful instrumentals), The Orange Glow is perhaps best described as assertive, a descriptor that may initially seem at odds with the laid back élan of the record. But, the quietness is deceptive, hiding layered instrumentals framed by le Fey’s deft soprano.
Album opener “Washington Moon” is a buoyant, romantic sojourn that finds Globelamp longing for a “California sun and a Washington moon,” as the narrator searches for the best of both worlds. It’s apt imagery for anyone searching for love, or at least a connected soul. “San Francisco,” a ballad driven by gentle piano belies a somewhat vicious indictment of her tumultuous split (or ousting, depending on the source) from Foxygen, amid pointed fingers and rumors: “All that’s left is a video; why does she always have to know? Is she going to explode? The girl’s gotta go.” It’s a testament to her songwriting that Globelamp’s version of a diss track is perhaps the least bombastic of the album.
Throughout her career, Globelamp has playing with space and sound in a way that guides the imagination, alluding to tones or thoughts that might not tangibly exist within the song. As she continues to explore both her ability as a vocalist and as a songwriter, we can expect to be surprised and delighted in a way that only she can catalyze.»
– Charles Trowbridge
*See Globelamp at Doug Fir on Aug. 11.