If you're tempted to think crunchy electric guitars and pop-punk choruses about heartbreak are the domain of emotional bros, the music of Lisa Prank is a convincing reminder that's not the case. Robin Edwards' one-woman pop-punk project juxtaposes catchy cuteness with vulnerable, relatable honesty and just enough tongue-in-cheek humor. Even the charming, cartoony album art for Adult Teen — Lisa Prank's full-length follow-up to 2014's Crush On The World —manages to combine girlishness and strength. And though she often sings about having her heart broken and making romantic missteps, Edwards's voice rarely wavers; it's assured and confident.
"Luv Is Dumb" roars to life immediately with a story about falling so hard for a crush, you gross even yourself out. "I am not the type to call you all the time / But love is making me dumb," Edwards sneers over her trademark drum-machine beats and punchy power chords, nearly full-out swooning but desperately trying to keep it in check. "'Luv Is Dumb' is about those early stages of falling for someone," Edwards tells NPR, "where in spite of your best judgment you find yourself obsessively checking their horoscope and projecting all of your grand, unrealistic romantic hopes onto this person you've only just met."
The song's video is a parody of the 1992 movie Singles, about grunge-loving Gen Xers in Seattle. The video recreates a scene where Debbie Hunt — whom Edwards describes as a "do-anything-for-love hopeful romantic character" — searches for love via video dating. "It was fun to recruit my friends to play video-dating candidates, fly in front of a green-screened Space Needle and be very gently reprimanded by the Singles apartment building manager for filming without permission," Edwards says. The video features cameos from members of Tacocat, Dogbreth, Chastity Belt and other Seattle-area bands, who play Edwards' friends and potential suitors.
The music's sense of heart and fun comes through in the video: The Space Needle scenes, Edwards' trademark "Prank" crown and the throwback '90s aesthetic are kitschy without inducing irony or eye-rolling. In an email, Marcy Stone-Francois, the video's director, succinctly pins down Lisa Prank's deal; the music, she says, "embodies what makes Seattle both vulnerably humble and unapologetically cool."
Adult Teen is out now on Father/Daughter Records.