On her latest record, Microcosmos, Lou Turner illustrates the joy, sorrow and humor of the tiny details of everyday life, as seen through a slightly surreal lens.
Nashville songwriter and poet Lou Turner (aka Lauren Turner) is in top form on this album, skirting along the edge of country and psych-tinged folk rock with a graceful ease. As strings and instruments like acoustic and pedal steel guitar and synths swell and sway behind her, Turner delivers her sharp and playful lyrics with a voice full of warmth.
Songs like “Dancing to Hold Music” and “Big Ole Head” explore the intimate characteristics of the ups and downs of love and relationships in a vividly introspective way. They paint small yet powerful scenes of high emotions, like getting into a fight with your lover and locking the door on them…only to realize that they had an extra key. These songs are rich with realistic and bittersweet moments that make Turner’s writing feel as free and human as John Prine’s. Yet, her lyricism is slightly more surreal than Prine’s, like in the aforementioned “Big Ole Head.”
In this song, she describes her lover or friend as a person with a huge, top-heavy head full of ideas and offerings that can easily be deflated by the stress and pain. At times like these, Turner offers to be the shoulder the person can lean on by measuring their shrinking head and propping it back up on its screws again, like some sort of inflatable Frankenstein. It’s one of the most spirited and comical ways I have ever heard anyone communicate something like, “I’ll always support you when you’re down.”
Elsewhere on the album, Turner gets far more ethereal and poetic, especially on the title track. With plenty of astral images and psychedelic concepts, the tune references the Earth and life itself as being too fast-paced and unpredictably random. It’s a song that makes you mull over the words over and over again, drawing different conclusions and interpretations every time, like a classic Dylan track. It’s just one of the many shining examples of Turner’s brilliance that can be found on this record.
Melancholic, chill and always charming, this LP really puts the “cosmic” in “American Cosmic Music.” Click here to order Microcosmos from Spinster Sounds today.