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Review: Lupine's "Midnight"

The singer/songwriter's first full-length album is a collection of personal anecdotes and thoughts

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At the end of last year the Source ran a Q&A with Bend local Ella Peterson, who makes music under the artist name Lupine. At the time she only had a few pieces of music released, but now Peterson has kicked off the year with the release of the debut full-length album, "Midnight."

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What first drew me in to Peterson's music was her open and vivid writing. She softly sings through an array of emotions, describing scenes and settings with great imagery and detail— ones that you can see unfolding in your own mind. The formula carries forward on the rest of "Midnight," but there are also some new tricks Peterson shows off that make the album a fun dive into what else she can bring.

On "Midnight," Peterson dips into various tempos around her usual lo-fi rock sound, with "God's Own Basement" being an awesome example of what happens when the artist speeds things up. Compared to this track, the rest of the album is much more of a mellow listen. But this one stands out for more than just its picked-up pace. "God's Own Basement" confronts skeletons in the closet and the fear of having to deal with both the past and the future. The hook is an instantly memorable highlight, rushing along with Peterson echoing "hell is nothing more than God's own basement." Immediately you know this is a song you'll be coming back to, if not for its catchy rhythm and chorus, then for the clever symbolism.

Vulnerability is another of the key pieces to "Midnight." Whether Peterson is declaring she feels like she's out "walking on a wire," going through old photos of life's past on "Hope You're Alright," or even questioning if she's enough for others, she's brave enough to share the feelings with listeners. The way she opens up feels like a friend reaching out to get things off their chest—which makes Peterson's music easy to listen to.

Peterson shows great promise as a 17-year-old in music. She's already pulled back the curtain to give listeners a peek inside her mind, giving her music a lot of substance to grab onto and think about, even post-listen. And ultimately, that's kind of the goal as an artist, isn't it—to record something that sticks with those who listen? Peterson already has that bit down on "Midnight" as she aims to keep coming into her own musically.

"Midnight" is a perfect listen for fans of lo-fi rock and indie pop. - COURTESY LUPINE
  • Courtesy Lupine
  • "Midnight" is a perfect listen for fans of lo-fi rock and indie pop.

What's really interesting about "Midnight" is that the music seems driven by the moment; the space we fall into as we become consumed by our own thoughts—like at night when you can't sleep, or when you're out on a walk staring at what's ahead, but not really seeing anything, like your own auto-pilot has switched on. Peterson's album seems to have bottled up that feeling of an inner monologue... except for the fact that she's sharing with everyone else. That's what makes it special.

Where to play: Spotify and Apple Music

For fans of: The Beths, Phoebe Bridgers, Soccer Mommy

Grade: B

About The Author

Isaac Biehl

Isaac is living proof that "Iowa Nice" is actually a thing. A journalism graduate from Iowa State University, he regularly writes about music, the outdoors and the arts/culture scene. Isaac loves the Trail Blazers, backpacking and a good IPA. He plans to one day win Survivor. Your move, Jeff Probst...

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