written by: Shosh
When White Prism invites listeners to “come and rest your weary heart” on opening number “Song 52” of her self-titled debut EP, get ready to do so. With a soothing tone tempered with a hint of dysphoria, the following four songs of “White Prism” are relaxing, ethereal electro-pop that fit well with just about any mood.
White Prism is Australian native Johanna Cranitch, who has been entrenched in music her entire life. From her jazz pianist grandfather to working as an audio engineer at Nola recording studios in New York to touring as a backup singer for the Cranberries, Cranitch has been influenced by a wide range of music including, not only different genres (think Fleetwood Mac and Kate Bush), but production as well. Second song “Play Me, I Am Yours” specifically exemplifies Cranitch’s experience as an engineer. The production value is pristine with heavily reverbed vocals that stay fresh. The use of synths and ambient sounds heighten the mood of the tune and embellish her strengths as opposed to working as a band-aid to cover sub par work.
The delicate, flirtatious beat from third song “Dance On” is an easy transition. Major props to White Prism for creating a great, original song about dancing. There are so, so many pop songs about dancing. From Ke$ha to Lady Gaga to Little Boots to previously reviewed Dragonette, pop singers love to regale us with the freedom they find in dancing. Yet, White Prism is able to say the same old thing in a new way. “Dance On” is carefree, without the heavy-handed beat that often accompanies these predictable tunes. This type of dance number incites more of a chilled-out hipster swaying side to side rather than getting raunchy in the club as White Prism hazily murmurs “nothing’s bad when you dance on.”
“Siren Call” follows and is just what the title suggests – a dreamy tune from a siren singer. It recalls images of the sultry and dangerous sirens from Homer’s Odyssey which lured sailors to their deaths with their irresistibly sweet songs. Not quite so sinister, but this songstress certainly reigns in listeners with her seductive drone. The EP culminates with “Wishes” where WP drearily asks “if you find love again / won’t you try to keep her?” This song is the most trip hop of the bunch with a few industrial touches and ends with scratchy white noise and a looped beat.
The EP ends as strong as it began, leaving all who gave it a listen ready for a full length LP. While her influences are clear, her resulting style is one all her own. White Prism’s brand of electro-pop is like a breath of fresh, sultry, dreamy air in the usual hazy fog of aggressive beats and silly lyrics.