Lois – Union Themes

Union Themes

Oh Lois, the patron saint of soft spoken chick rock. Before there was Jewel or Sarah Mc-whatever, there was Lois. Olympia’s bright and shiny star. Lois is like a modern day Joni Mitchell. With a voice so sweet and a tune so pleasant, all the while singing a good old fashioned punk tune. Through all her albums and even deviations with side projects such as Courtney Love, she has always stayed witty, subtle and sweet. Her latest album with Brendan Canty, entitled The Union Themes, is no exception to this rule.
Brendan Canty? Yes, that is that same Brendan Canty of Rites of Spring, One Last Wish and Fugazi. How do these forces mix with Lois? Besides geographical differences, musically there is a great divide. However, on the CD the two meld together like they were meant to be. Apparently, they had been collaborating for a while in Mr. Canty’s basement. Brenden has been good for Lois. This album loses none of the girlish charm that fans adore Lois for, however – it is a more mature release. Lois claims that this is the first release that she did a demo for.
From the moment the first track begins you get that warm fuzzy feeling all over that Lois tends to evoke. Her pleasant melodies and soothing voice make you feel warm and squishy all over. The record starts with an ebullient tune entitled “These Parts” that sounds like a mandolin playing. It makes you want to run and frolic in your nearest green field. My favorite song on the record is the third, “How I came to Know.” It’s one of those songs you could put on repeat. Singing along is not something you can avoid.
Most importantly, what to love about Lois is that she is real. Her music seems so tangible. Even though she could easily be quite full of herself due to her long discography of releases and doting reviews, she still appears to just be Lois. On tour in Austin, TX I went and purchased a CD from her after the show. I chatted a little and mentioned I had seen her the week before in San Francisco. She asked me “What’s your name” with a big smile and stuck out her hand for me to shake. I said “Jennifer,” and she said “Hi, I’m Lois. It’s nice to meet you.”