Friday, October 6, 2023

Friday Freebie: Gish - Lidian

Boston's Gish (aka J. Manning) has released an alt-folk EP that's perfect for October listening. That doesn't mean the songs that make up Lidian are filled with ghosts, goblins, or things that go bump in the night. Quite the opposite, actually. Lidian may have an otherworldly or spooky vibe, but there is a warmth to these five songs. Spirits may be invoked, but that doesn't mean they are malevolent. Gish has crafted these gorgeous and lush tracks that fit together expertly. Lidian truly feels like a complete work that needs to be listened as a whole and not as individual songs. Try to do your best to get yourself in a position to truly listen to Gish's release. The more you can focus on it, the better it is to enjoy.

Gish says of the story behind her new EP:

"The opening and closing tracks follow a character named 'Lidian'. I was inspired to write her story after visiting the gravesite of Ralph Waldo Emerson. I was kind of struck by his wife's grave, and how beautiful her name was, so I went home and researched her life. I found that when Emerson married her, he told her that he would never love her because his heart belonged to his first wife who had passed away while they were together. Lidian loved him desperately though and never stopped trying to earn his affection, despite how cold he was towards her. 
"So when I started writing, I took inspiration from this image I had of her in my mind. Someone so giving, so ready to sacrifice even if it means destroying herself. I came up with this story of a woman in the same situation as the real Lidian, a lonely wife and mother. In my version she wants to give a girl who died tragically young a second chance at life by letting her spirit cohabitate in her own body. She slowly comes to regret the decision, as this enormous act of love has turned into a much too heavy burden. Lidian spends her days in a body that no longer belongs to her. 
"The closing track gives her a bit of resolution and peace, although vague. 

"The entire project has connecting themes of sacrifice, generational trauma, and loss. I also utilize a lot of modal scales to show more ambiguity in the emotions of the characters. I love giving them a bittersweet, complex feeling."

You can listen to Lidian below. The EP is available through Bandcamp for the "name your price" option. If you do choose to download it for free, be sure to give Gish a follow on Instagram.

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