Meet Lisle. He plays music. Good music. In his Portastudio. I fucking adore Lisle and his Portastudio. It’s as simple as that.
Under the moniker Fireflies, Lisle has produced some of the best lo-fi ‘80s inspired indie rock I’ve heard—like Belle and Sebastian on some marvelous ear-drug. This is the sort of wonderful MySpace find that comes along once a year, and I’m letting you in on my one big find. Born and raised in New England, Lisle played classical piano before moving to California where he began to record. Since then, he has moved to Chicago where he remains the premier best-band-you’ve-never-heard.
In every song Fireflies (interchangeable for Lisle himself since he is the lone member) crafts “a tiny snow-globe-sized universe” combined with influence from his classical days. Tracks like “Your Secret Code” are a perfect example, melding ethereal piano instrumentals with classical instruments like flute, all blended into a catchy yet haunting indie melody. I could be overflowing with joyous adjectives over the instrumentals alone, but the real capper is Lisle’s vocals. His graceful, soothing, introspective, whispered singing style could not be better suited to his tracks. These really are tiny snow-globes of sonic landscapes, lazily drifting below your dangling feet as you recklessly sail above the tundra below.
Touching, heart-breaking, and chilling all at the same moment, Fireflies’ lullaby “Les Belles Étoiles” could make you weep, quietly reflect, or simply cry out in joy—a quality most of his songs convey. These are the songs of lovers, deep dreamers, and escapists. Other tracks like the quiet love-story “Cherry Blossom Girl” travel through fascinating sonic landscapes while remaining humbly introspective, as if journeying throughout your own body. Fireflies is thus a very personal experience. Not a choice for dance-floors or get-togethers (unless your get-togethers compile sitting quietly and pondering the mysteries of the universe), this is the soundtrack of lonely nights, when rain and stars patter against your windows.
Beyond the tracks he has posted on his MySpace page, Lisle has a 7” single in the works. He has several previous releases of which he has limited copies, and carefully guards them until you ask nicely. Eternally modest and blisteringly amazing, Lisle and Fireflies will be your next lo-fi dream band. It’s as simple as that.