Music News

Jen Pumo

On All Over the Moon, Jen Pumo plays it cool. Rather than over-emoting, she layers imagistic lyrics over atmospheric soundscapes well worth ex-ploring. Her performances are unfailingly compelling, even though she seldom raises her voice.

The album's production fuses piano and other traditional instrumentation with synthesized washes and extremely subtle electronic effects. This formula isn't unique, as anyone who's ever spun a Beth Orton disc understands. Yet Pumo and Graham Pearce, her musical compatriot, employ it with intelligence and a depth of feeling that animates lyrics that are often as evocative as the sonic beds beneath them. That's particularly true of "Space Girl," whose ethereal theme, exemplified by its opening couplet ("The numbers travel down the line/There's no sense of speed"), is mirrored by an appropriately enigmatic melody and arrangement. Just as strong are "Sandstone," with its sweeping faux strings, and "Trip," which is one.

Pumo's music will leave listeners feeling Over the Moon.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts