Lisa Caruso
Lisa Caruso | Supplied

Love Letter to a Record: Lisa Caruso on Sharon Van Etten’s ‘Remind Me Tomorrow’

Music Feeds’ Love Letter to a Record series asks artists to reflect on their relationship with the music they love and share stories about how it has influenced their lives. Sydney indie pop artist Lisa Caruso raises a glass to Sharon Van Etten’s fifth album, Remind Me Tomorrow, released in 2019.

Lisa Caruso wrote many of the songs on her new EP Stretching during the dark, lonesome days of the Covid pandemic. Stretching follows Caruso’s 2020 debut LP, In Feelings, and signals a sonic departure, with songs like ‘What If My Body Could Love Like You’ and ‘Your Show’ foregrounding synths and keyboards. Watch the music video for the former at the bottom of this page.

Lisa Caruso’s love letter to Remind Me Tomorrow

Lisa Caruso: In 2019, my partner bought us tickets to see Shazza as part of Vivid at the Sydney Opera House. I wasn’t aware of her work at the time, but was super intrigued to see an artist that Matt seemed completely smitten by. Here with the band to celebrate the release of her fifth album, Remind Me Tomorrow, from the minute the show started, I was instantly captivated. It had been so long since discovering a new artist that I loved, and it didn’t take long for me to realise I’d be playing this one on repeat.

Entering the stage with the most humble demeanour, it became obvious why us Aussies get away with calling her Shazza. I remember first gravitating to her vocal delivery; so sincere and raw and powerful. Every song has a story to tell, enveloped with so much passion and authenticity. To hear music I could relate to upon first exposure was so refreshing.

I had been recording my album In Feelings at the time, so it was great timing. There’s something quite fascinating about how we interpret music when we’re orbiting in and out of the recording studio. I’m often drawn to an element of drama in music, and that’s what Remind Me Tomorrow holds. From recording to stage, the songs translate beautifully. The production values are sharp but not overdone, and the arrangements are patient and extremely tasteful. The flow of the album brings grit when called for and will hang back when it’s time for Sharon’s vocals to shine.

It’s hard to pick favourites but I can’t get past opener, ‘I Told You Everything’. Setting the tone sonically for the record, there are slight builds in instrumentation as ideas enter and exit, moving to what I’d describe as the next chapters in a novel or a short film. The song maintains interest over almost five minutes as it keeps developing. It’s so very clever.

Then you’ve got the alt-pop banger ‘Comeback Kid’. With the synth bass bold and up front, the bottom end is juxtaposed with screeching layers of synth, which are laid against Shazza’s storytelling vocal. ‘Jupiter 4’ is another one that always grabs me. The vocal harmonies are to die for. It’s a love song that Sharon so boldly dives into, and lyrically and production-wise, it’s cinematic music at its finest.

So, to a record that I clearly fell in love with, thank you. This album became my saving grace over the years. It inspired me to take to keys and to look into more synth-based alternative music. I bought a Yamaha CP7 a couple of years ago and immediately sought out that icy, 80s-esque synth sound.

Remind Me Tomorrow is the album I kept coming back to when arranging my new EP, Stretching, and one that I love to turn up in the car or on the record player. Thanks ever so much Shazza.

Lisa Caruso – ‘What If My Body Could Love Like You’

Stream and purchase Lisa Caruso’s new EP, Stretching, here

Further Reading

triple j’s Like A Version in 2013

Sharon Van Etten Review – Catharsis and Bad Dancing at Sydney Opera House

Listen To Courtney Barnett Cover Sharon Van Etten’s ‘Don’t Do It’ With Vagabon

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