Is there life after Idol rejection? For quirky, quixotic 19-year-old Australian singer/songwriter Lisa Mitchell the answer is an emphatic yes. Three years after getting the boot from the finals of the Down Under version of the popular cringefest, Mitchell delivered one of the most remarkable pop albums of the past year, an unusual, dreamy and surprisingly mature collection of addictive hooks, sunny, unpretentious goofiness and her own left-of-center musical vision. Not many debut albums can sound this fresh, this fun, this child-like and this mature at the same time but the recently released Wonder (outside the U.S. only so far) manages to do all of that and then some. Mitchell was nominated for three Arias (Aussie Grammys) including Best Female Artist and Best Breakthrough Artist - Album. Latest single "Oh Hark!" (video after the jump) is another odds-on, oddball fave.
A sweet tart of a candied treat for the ears, the album's thirteen songs also have the distinctive personal stamp of the artist -- something rare in an era when young artists are usually "managed" into bland replications of the current hip-pop flavor of the month. Take the single (and oddball video) "Coin Laundry", a sing-songy, maddeningly addictive jolt of caffeinated and sugary fluff that also mixes in some twinkling production touches to the "guilty pleasure" quotient (see the video after the jump). You can try to resist, but it's best to just simply surrender. “Songwriting for me is usually trying to create something that will give me proof of hope," says Mitchell, "like a packed lunch for the future or something." For us, the playful, irresistible Wonder gives us that "proof"...so we're still wondering -- why hasn't this album been picked up for the U.S.?
Lisa Mitchell - "Clean White Love" (from the album Wonder)
Lisa Mitchell - "Love Letter" (from the album Wonder)