“The Lost Garden”: Alice Lewis’ Musical Journey to Wonderland

The singer unveils her new album in the form of a tale placed under the aegis of Lewis Carroll. Confusing and bewitching.

The story doesn’t say whether Alice Lewis and director David Herman, behind this concept album, find this world to be meaningless, but the pair wholeheartedly embraced Lewis Carroll’s suggestion: “If the world has absolutely no meaning, who’s stopping us from inventing one?”

Contrary to a trend that does not always bother with a requirement for coherence and unity within the same disc, Alice Lewis surprises with a set thought of as an indivisible whole. In ten acts and twenty-three tracks, it offers a narrative journey alternating instrumentals, sung titles and interludes read by the actress Anne Alvaro, giving the pieces their full dimension.

This musical tale is illustrated by temporal and geographical variations (The menu looks like a medieval song; The clear water, sonorities of Asia) like so many sound paintings which do not belong to any era or to all of them at the same time.

Fantastic universe

The refined cut-out paper decorations of the music video The encounter evoke the universe of the tale, like the titles The castle Where The Elixir; the zither and the viola da gamba mingle with the synthesizers to form an alloy which is the strength of this whole which does not fall into any trap. Initially confused by this hybrid object, we resume the habit of listening to an album in one go, and this is how we immerse ourselves in the fantastic universe of Alice Lewis, as if bewitched ·e.

The Lost Garden (Yuk-Fu Records/Believe). Released since January 20.

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