Singer/songwriter; made her name as the touring violinist for John Mellencamp and Bob Seger. Has now released a number of excellent solo albums, but continues working with other popular artists and occasionally as a session musician. Fittingly, most of her albums have been released by 4AD, as her sound is similar to other 4AD artists of the early/mid nineties such as Kristin Hersh, Belly, and the coherent bits of His Name Is Alive. Has also been compared to PJ Harvey; I'd agree, insomuch as the music is very sneaky and personal, but it's not as buzzy.

After self-releasing her first album, Germano signed to Capitol Records in 1993. They released Happiness that year after smoothing out all of the interesting parts, leaving Germano quite frustrated. She jumped ship to 4AD the following year; they then released a remixed and much improved version of Happiness.

In 1997, Germano teamed up with members of Giant Sand to form OP8. They released one CD on Thirsty Ear, and toured extensively, but probably won't be seen again. Recently, Germano has been touring with Neil Finn (Split Enz, Crowded House) in New Zealand and Australia.

Discography through 2001:
On the Way Down to the Moon Palace - 1991
Happiness - 1994
Geek The Girl - 1994
Excerpts from the Love Circus - 1996
Slide - 1998

Singles + Compilations (through 2001):
Inconsiderate Bitch EP - 1994
"The Mirror Is Gone" - Red, Hot, and Bothered compilation - 1995
"Angels Turn To Devils" - Anon compilation
"Small Heads" single - 1996
"I Love a Snot" single - 1997
"Eli's Comin'" - Time and Love: Laura Nyro tribute - 1997

Lisa Germano and Me

Lisa Germano is one of that plethora of artists who seem to have made a very distinct critical impact on music, without really garnering any sort of public notice (a trait she seems to share with former label-mate Kristin Hersh). For a career that spans six albums and well over a decade in the business, there is a certain sad irony that the usual reaction you will get when mentioning her music is a blank "Wha' the fuh?".

So, Lisa Germano and me. I came across her courtesy of a song on a music mag mix tape, bought the then first album (Happiness) and have never looked back. That first album; a blend of deceptively-happy sounding songs with some of the most self-revelatory, frankly depressing lyrics ever. A real sugar-coated cyanide pill. Each progressive album has gotten darker and more idiosyncratic.

Lisa has the same honesty in her lyrics as Tori Amos; a great many of the songs, especially the ones about fucked-up relationships, are drawn from her own real-life experiences. You find yourself amazed that she hasn't done something "rather silly" by now as a result; perhaps this is truly music as catharsis.

Its a striking coincidence as well, given the darkness in her work, that my first three album purchases of her's should link with three of the darkest sourcebooks for White Wolf's role-playing game, Vampire. It's probably also relevant that she has been something of a muse for me during my darker hours.

But at the end of the day, I simply think its that Lisa Germano is one of those unique talents that defy neat categorisation. Blending together some of the more unused musical instruments (violin, cello), with truly honest song-writing (à la the Amos) she brings a much-needed darker, more melancholic edge to the 4AD table.

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