It’s obvious; Life On Earth is a change of pace for Tiny Vipers‘ Jesy Fortino. From a literal standpoint, the pace hasn’t gone anywhere — every song on Life On Earth is just as slow as anything off Tiny Vipers’ Sub Pop debut, Hands Across The Void. The “pace” that has changed, rather, is Fortino’s demeanor, both in the power and confidence that radiates from her voice in songs like “Development” and in the promotional photos that accompany the promotion of this release.
Fortino’s head isn’t always down, and while the skies remain gray and she’s still clad in black and hues of dark blue… there’s a trace of a smile on her face in one photo, and a glimmer of hope in another. The same follows suit in her songs; when I caught the end of Tiny Vipers at a festival shortly after the release of Hands Across The Void, she was hunched over, inwardly drawn. She was secluded. And I would like to think this change is an opening, a beginning that sees her with expressions. Sure, the emotion is still there, but it’s much more heartfelt with an outward trace of hope and a hint of pending happiness.
To call Fortino’s transformation a progression would be an understatement — she has burst forth from her cocoon to create something both terrifyingly dark, yet filled with mystical hope and awe. And it is no more apparent than on the ten minute epic title track. Likewise, “Time Takes” leads into “Young God” with a subdued, space-y acoustic drones very much in the vein of Windy & Carl but with the verbosity rampant throughout Life On Earth. But perhaps the most endearing track is “Tiger Mountain” thanks to dual harmony vocals.
At virtually every level, no matter how emotive and heartfelt, the power in Fortino’s voice is a beauty that draws out hope that washes away any sorrow you may have.
Sub Pop [CD, 2009]
1. Eyes Like Ours
3. Slow Motion
5. Time Takes
6. Young God
7. Life on Earth
9. Tiger Mountain
10. Twilight Property