Review Summary: A more mature, varied, and overall better offering, building upon what Mitchell laid out in her first EP.
Although being relatively unsuccessful in terms of coverage with her first EP, Lisa Mitchell must’ve done well enough to come back with another one, which capitalizes on what she originally had created with Said One to the Other
and goes on to really define her own sound. Unlike her first release, Welcome to the Afternoon
shows a lot more promise and gives us four very solid songs, which are all notable on different counts. Beginning with the somewhat droning ‘See You When You Get Here’, Mitchell sets a laid back mood which follows the EP throughout, although lifting up a bit towards the end. Her delicate voice duels with the bouncy beat on ‘See You When You Get Here’, with a spooky yet soothing whistle effect floating around. It’s an interesting start, and the EP only gets better.
What plagued her first EP was that it wasn’t varied as it should’ve been, and she shied away from a more prominent role in each of the songs. However, like any good artist should do, she solves both these problems on Welcome to the Afternoon
. Again using various combinations of her acoustic guitar, piano, and some more unusual instruments, Mitchell really displays a sense of confidence about her music and an inherent coolness in showing us what she can do. ‘Neopolitan Dreams’ marks a change from the first track, losing the eeriness of ‘See You When You Get Here’, and actually sounding cute, due both in part to the instrumental variations, and to the vocal style. What I presume is a glockenspiel, or a similar instrument, takes the lead over a bubbly performance from Mitchell, held steady with some well-placed handclaps. Triple J is making no mistakes in pushing this song forward, as it truly is a catchy and well crafted track.
Welcome to the Afternoon
really is an EP of surprises, however. After another predictable yet strong third track in ‘Far Far Far Away’, Mitchell just blows her first three songs out of the water with the totally unexpected and bluesy ‘A Little Ramblin' Blues For Any Hour’. This is the moment which makes the EP, still keeping things ‘Lisa’, but delving into something a little different. A small pluck of her guitar, and the song bursts to life, toppling the mellow setting of the previous three songs with a timely climax to the EP. At first I couldn’t decide if her voice really suited the quicker tempo and change in style, but I gradually realized how suited it actually was. A slight wit about her lyrics is also apparent, with a very tasteful harmonica being thrown in right after the lines ‘I play guitar and you play guitar / You play guitar and I play harmonica’. To finish off what is a fantastic song, Mitchell rises above her comfort zone vocal-wise, almost shouting the line ‘you shouldn’t have done that’, propelling the song to its finish.
Welcome to the Afternoon
is what I like to think of as a gem. It may be a very short EP, but all of its songs are fantastic, and I’m definitely very partial to Mitchell’s warming voice. Her brand of poppy folk is simply refreshing to listen to, and this EP shows a great evolvement and maturity from her previous release. In all honesty, I’m greatly looking forward to hearing from her again.
Note: All 4 songs are available for listening on Mitchell's myspace, and the track 'Neopolitan Dreams' is available as a free download from Triple J