I often come across artists that capture my attention to the fullest, furthering my pursuit to listen to their discography or a short collection of songs before an impending release. Recently that has been the case with LP Giobbi, a Piano House star in the making, precisely as she continues to establish an identity beholden to who she is and more. As noted through her Instagram and interviews, Giobbi grew up a Dead Head, i.e., a core group of superfans who used to travel just to watch The Grateful Dead perform, and that has stuck with her today, specifically in her craft. As Evan Sawdley of PopMatter.com noted, “The idea of mixing the music of the Grateful Dead with contemporary dance trends sounds sacrilegious on paper, but for LP Giobbi, it is nothing short of a dream.” We’ve heard LP make remixes of the music of The Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia’s music and deliver Dead House sets, blending the music of the former with house; now she’s giving us her debut solo album that continues to highlight her strength as a pianist and electronic musician.
There is no denying the limelight from the effervescent piano notes aligned throughout LP Giobbi’s debut, Light Places. It’s a secondary protagonist on this journey that sees Giobbi channeling Deep House and Jazz notes as she buddies these sounds together with pure rhythmic bliss. It’s like she’s transporting us back to when House and EDM weren’t constrained on particular scales to get magnetic energy from the chorus-drop combo. As it progresses, you hear how focused Giobbi is at weaving the production where you can forgive the two moments the featured vocals aren’t as gripping. Though slightly glaring hiccups, it has a continuous streamlined consistency within the sounds, which gives us a smoother passage that funnels its themes through these interesting starting points, like with the only interlude. “All I Need” begins as this piano-driven interlude that establishes the feeling of support, wherein one’s confidence remains high and focused, knowing each corner of the ring has someone to have your back. When it gets to the actual song, we see those barriers break as Giobbi performs vocally, which isn’t as common here.
With the occasional guest vocalist, LP Giobbi has an album that tackles consistency considerably. It’s why these featured vocals from Sofi Tukker, Caroline Byrne, and Monogem, the latter two are independent vocalists who get their talents bolstered by Giobbi and her co-producers work, have an emotional consistency with the trajectory of the production. As fantastic as these collaborations are, it’s moments Giobbi takes a step back and works around developing something intricate and mesmerizing with pure instrumentals. On “Follow The Loop,” as told to Apple Music, “I started with one note from a Grateful Dead guitar line and repitched it and replaced it until this loop happened, which I just couldn’t stop playing and following through the song.” And that loop takes Giobbi through interesting avenues that show rich world-building, keeping it far from one-dimensional, like how the varying layers of Post-Disco, House, and Techno are beautifully entwined as it gets a little funky with the bass and piano keys and letting the rest establish it further. The same goes for the smooth cadence of “Georgia,” as it brings in heavy drum patterns to boast the elegant and nostalgically nuanced house synths and bass lines.
Light Places isn’t without faults. As noted earlier, there are two moments where the features aren’t as great, even when the production doesn’t fall flat. After a strong opening two tracks, the album takes a vocal down pivot with “Can’t Let You Go,” which does feel more one note, specifically in the chorus. This similarly reflects in “All In Dream,” where featured artists DJ Tennis & Joseph Ashworth don’t help give the track more than a rudimentary EDM direction that loses focus the more it gets into the weeds of being slightly more tropical and intimate. It doesn’t stand out, specifically with its piano rhythms, carrying a constant motif that we hear a few times – on the following track, “All My Life,” it starts with similar keys but gets explored further as featured artist Sofi Tukker brings this melancholic and melodically blissful performance. Sometimes the vocals carry contrasts to the production, burgeoning this hypnotic trance where you can get lost in the details and forget the subtleties that make the music danceable.
I’m not the most privy to the Electronic/Club scene, primarily because of the financial limitations I’ve imposed on myself, where you won’t find me at a set on a Wednesday night at the Brooklyn Mirage or traveling to Europe just to party, I have a 9 to 5. But I know about music, and as I’ve spent a lot of time digging through more archives and exploring emerging DJs/Musicians, I’ve come to find greatness in the spacious array of sounds getting created. And I can say LP Giobbi’s debut is one of these emerging artists I couldn’t recommend more. What she does with the piano envelops into these luscious overtures that steer her debut album greatly. It is a fantastic musical journey that truthfully lets the sounds keep you zoned in and focused from start to finish.