June 27, 2016

LP: Lisa Prank - Adult Teen

Lisa Prank's Adult Teen is full of pop-punk confections.

As a professional adult teen, Lisa Prank makes feeling feelings fun again – even the ones that aren’t so great. In the current wave of delicate, soulful, sad grrl-with-guitar music, Prank’s newest release – Adult Teen, out now on Father/Daughter Records – is refreshingly, cheerfully upbeat. That doesn’t mean she's only singing about rainbows and kittens and other staples of Lisa Frank landscapes, of course, which is part of what makes Adult Teen so magical. It’s packed with funny, insightful odes to new crushes (“Luv is Dumb”), breakups (“Take It All”), and the overall business of being an emotional human, each one more brightly dance-able than the last.

Prank even sings about murky, post-break up relationships with an honest, knowing sass – try not to revel in the rhetoric of, “You say you’re not still drinking, you’re just starting again / And I swear I don’t still miss you, I’m just starting again,” but you can tell, she’s enjoying it. Critics have been quick to categorize her tunes as thoroughly pop-punk, but Adult Teen (her first release since 2014) is undeniably more layered than that. It’s whip-smart pop strained through a Seattle punk filter. Bouncy, catchy, and brief, Lisa Prank’s songs are an antidote for those who are exhausted by wallowing in sadness. Instead Adult Teen celebrates feeling, and all the ups and downs that come with it. There’s nothing sly, or wry, or hidden on Adult Teen. Even when she rolls her eyes, you can still hear her smile. It’s like, This is life, these are feelings; here is my drum machine, my electric guitar, and my gift for crafting pop-punk inspired tunes. My friends recorded it with me in my living room. It ruled. Prank out. Also, the album is replete with ‘90s references, and they’re all exquisite. From her mantle (offstage, Lisa Prank is just Seattle’s Robin Edwards) to her track names – we see you, “Jumper” and “I Want To Believe” (hey, wait, is that a double reference to The X-Files and Tacocat’s Lost Time?) – to Faye Orlove’s feminine, tarot-inspired album art, ‘90s pop and pop culture have fingerprints all over this LP. That said, she’s no novelty act; Prank’s songs are expertly composed, pop-punk confections. They’ll fit perfectly into your summer soundtrack. And I say I’m not still listening, I’m just starting again…


Listen to Lisa Prank on bandcamp.


Sophy Ziss is a writer and feelings-haver based in Philadelphia. Tweet pets and music recommendations to @sophyish.