Lisel + Booker Stardrum’s “Stalls” Is an Exuberant, Sleek Pop Experiment
In collaboration with Gwendolyn Gussman, the single’s video symbolizes a chaotic odyssey toward freedom.
Classically trained and experimentally inspired vocalist-producer Eliza Bagg makes music under the moniker Lisel, and most recently she’s defused and chopped her soaring vocals for a collaborative album with electronic musician and percussionist Booker Stardrum. The full-length is titled Mycelial Echo, and today we’re sharing the final single, “Stalls.” On the track, samples of Lisel’s vocal sighs bob in and out, forming an enamoring collage of jolty, interlocking pieces. After a couple minutes, Stardrum introduces ominous drums and a hypnotic rhythm that ties “Stalls” together like a liberated cuckoo clock.
Like many of the album’s previous singles, the video for “Stalls” was a made in collaboration with dancer/choreographer Gwendolyn Gussman. “Just as the music begins, spare and stark but slowly, unhurriedly, adds more elements until it blossoms and develops into a lush, vivid world. So does the video go on a slow but increasingly chaotic and ecstatic journey,” Bagg explains. “It begins in a dimly lit barn, a horse’s stall, with a solo dancer in a minimal blue bodysuit completing small and repeated movements, which over time become larger and more physical, her body digitally layered on top of itself.”
As Lisel’s vocals find themselves released among crunchy synths, so does Gussman in a myriad of sunlit trees. “At the end of the video we get the freedom and release that the music builds towards as its complex rhythmic patterns dissolve into a bed of lush synths: we land in a surreal, magical landscape of snow and aspen trees—the natural world. The dancer in her blue unitard is now just a small, uncanny, spot of color in the sunlit, bright expanse,” Bagg poetically puts it.
Lisel + Booker’s experimental pop album Mycelial Echo is out today (woot!), and you can support them here. Check out “Stalls” below.