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Nedelle: From The Lion's Mouth

Nedelle: From The Lion's Mouth

Label:Kill Rock Stars
Release Date:2005

Nedelle plays the Ottobar May 8 with Deerhoof, Why?, and One Long Lash.

By Raymond Cummings | Posted 5/4/2005

Oakland, Calif.’s Nedelle Torrisi’s From the Lion’s Mouth feels less like Kill Rock Stars fodder than Adult Contemporary FM wet dream: pop niblets, lushly considered and shamelessly, unapologetically not hip. Her honeycomb, post-precocious vocals—think Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn with more range, practice, and a blues jones—command arrangements spare, orchestral, and near-Ronettes with confidence. A Sesame Street-theme organ storms “Oh No!,” strings at its heels, ramping into a lightweight ’50s-girl-group vamp where Torrisi’s strident, fragile-dude-step-off warning—“Please learn to pray, my boy/ Don’t come my way, oh no/ Cry on your own time”—conjures Diana Ross. “Begin to Breathe” cozily flips the script, Torrisi knocking unsuccessfully on a boyfriend’s door while electric pianos twirl and multitracked doppelgängers echo the last word of every line in the chorus. Her anxiety extends to a bittersweet tribute to a brutal pet dog, where melancholy strings threaten to swallow a gentle guitar melody whole (“Tell Me a Story”), a woman’s gradual slip from dream adventures with a child she hopes to have into daybreak (the yearning “Blundering Blood”), and the melancholy trombone ebb-and-flow of “Follow Me,” where the act of falling in love feels, momentarily, all-encompassing and potentially lethal.

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