Playing Dead with Jex Lopez
PLAYING Dead is the latest album from Northern Rivers artist Jex Lopez.
Last year, Lopez was nominated in the Alternative/Independent and Jazz categories at the NCEIA Dolphin Awards, although her style is a mix of many influences.
"I am not a trained musician so I had to ask a fellow muso what categories to enter the songs in," she said.
"The song that was nominated in the alternative category is the first track on the Playing Dead album.
"It has a Gothic-movie- meets-blues feel to it with vibraphone, piano, dark electronic bass and storytelling lyrics. 'Truly sinful and heavenly' is how a fan described it."
She may arguably be our local J-Lo, due to her name, but the artist is no Latin diva but a blender and bender of genres.
Lopez said her album was thematic so she had the chance to play with a number of musical genres, including blues, electronic, tango, Mexican-sounding waltz, a cumbia using a Romanian scale, and a vaudeville and dark cabaret feel to some other songs.
"The album is thematic in that most of the songs are very playful - there are skeletons, ghosts and hybrid characters that populate the songs, and they also relate to death, but in the sense of endings as a chance to create new beginnings, change and transformation," she said.
"Most of the songs have a political and social commentary subtext.
"It doesn't hit you over the head, but I think it's clear the songs talk about hybrid cultural identities, queerness, and the broader political views of the progressive communities I have been involved throughout my adult life."
Jex Lopez wrote the album's songs in two years, sparked by an electronic music course run by Shiny Shiny (of Ironing Maidens fame).
"I needed this long because I have taught myself to sing, write music, record and produce music all in this time," she said. "I also have to hold down a day job teaching in schools. I'm also someone who needs a lot of sleep to function properly. I have to pace myself."
At the Gollan Hotel in Lismore tomorrow at 7pm.