Band of the Day

2011.11.07

Lali Puna

Beautifully warm and organic electropop lullabies
The birds in the trees, singing our mobile melodies. What a sweet, sweet world.
lyrics from Our Inventions

Lali Puna, an electronic rock band from Weilheim, Germany, was formed by Korean-born singer/songwriter Valerie Trebeljahr in 1998. Trebeljahr, after the break up of her previous all girl group, started Lali Puna as a solo 4-track recording project and eventually picked up Markus Acher on keyboards and vocals. In addition to Trebeljahr and Acher, the group consists of Christian Heiss on keyboards and Christoph Brandner on drums. Their debut album Tridecoder was released in 1999 on Morr Music Records (all of their subsequent albums would also be released on Morr). The Scary World Theory LP was released in 2001 to greater success than Tridecoder and was supported by the group's first world tour. The group's third LP, Faking The Books, was mastered at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London, England. Their most current LP was released to eager fans in 2010 and supported by a world tour.

While synthesizers and drum machines aren't the first things that spring to mind when you think of lullabies, Lali Puna's latest album Our Invention has managed just that: 10 tracks of softly beautiful, electronic lullabies. The German group has been together since the late 90s, releasing elegant electropop compositions on Berlin's Morr Music label. Formed by Korean-born singer Valerie Trebeljahr, Lali Puna is all about texture. Their songs are made up of layers of delicate pieces, each one seeming to glow softly as they blend together. It has a cinematic feel to it, as if there must be a small pack of indie filmmakers chasing after the band, trying to get them to soundtrack their films. “Remember” is one of the album's more energetic tracks, with its chugging bass drum and crisp hand claps. It stacks on delicate bells, gently picked acoustic guitar and Trebeljahr's hushed vocals, making the subdued components gel into a compelling pop song. “Everything Is Always” is a pretty, chilled out track budding off of a skeletal beat. Though still hushed, Trebeljahr's vocals rise to the front of the mix and drive things forward with an enchanting melody. The sound of “Hostile To Me” couldn't be further from its name; it's softly enveloping with its downtempo drums and warm synths giving it a cozy feeling. In “That Day” Trebljahr sounds an awful lot like Nico, the Velvet Underground's famed German collaborator. Like Nico, her hummable melody is beautifully sparse against its bed of organ and guitar. Even when Lali Puna's tracks are predominantly electronic, they have an organic feel to them. The tones are so rich and warm, that it's almost odd that it's synthesized music. The songs on Our Inventions are pleasant anytime, but there's a homey-ness to them that brings to mind rainy days spent inside or hanging out in the snow, perfect for the heart of autumn.