If you liked Tele Novella’s winter child Merlynn Belle, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy Molly Lewis‘ 18-minute July gem. Though it’s more akin to Morricone’s compositions for Leone’s spaghetti westerns, it shares a certain seasonal oddity with the Tele Novella’s album. It’s not your usual summer record, but that makes it all the more interesting.
The EP The Forgotten Edge is another spawn of our beloved pandemic, named after a small L.A. neighborhood where the artist in question was trapped last year. It features six songs produced by Thomas Brenneck and recorded at Sound Factory in Hollywood. Each song comes with a quiet, somewhat eerie, but soothing story. Yet, the only words to read are the carefully formulated two-word titles.
Molly Lewis, an Australian-born, Hollywood-based professional whistler has been a part of the L.A. scene for a few years now. Her Cafe Molly nights across L.A. featured an eclectic crowd of musicians: John C. Reilly, Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Mac DeMarco, to name a few. Nevertheless, this funny lady is more than just a whistler. Her far-reaching interest in audile storytelling is apparent on this EP. An air of old-fashioned elegance as well.
The reason Lewis moved to L.A. in the first place was to work in film. Also, her favorite type of music is soundtrack music. In her own words, “instrumental music tells stories and conveys characters through sounds.” No wonder we hear the influence of Morricone’s whistling guitarist Alessandro Alessandroni on this EP.
It is in fact a soundtrack of a movie yet unmade. Each song is a theme of a place or a feeling. Each offers a moving experience for the senses. The scents, the heat, the fine textures… sometimes evoking hedonistic beaches and other times mournful elbows resting on a faulty window sill or a hot balcony tile. The Forgotten Edge is a perfect daydreaming companion.
The whistling itself is elusive, borderline human and calming to a point that transcends music, or at least our idea of it. It reminds me of some other tunes with iconic whistling parts that had a similar effect, like Otis Redding’s ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay,’ Monty Python’s ‘Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life’ and Foster The People’s ‘Pumped up Kicks.’ In each of these whistling stands for what cannot or will not be worded.
Still, the chance to listen an entire album celebrating this dying artistic trade doesn’t come very often. So, tie that hammock to a pair of trees and take the classiest trip available today. It’s a bargain.
Order The Forgotten Edge via Bandcamp.