The Lisps

When we hear The Lisps — the sassy sound of wind blowing through a melodica, the jangly gypsy guitars, the coed vocal harmonies sung with the speed of auctioneers — we can see a caravan in our mind's eye, trekking across some unsettled plane at dusk, on its way to a town where the occupants will jump out and start a tent-revival hoedown. This New York quartet calls itself "21st-century indie-rock vaudevillians," and the sound on its latest album, Country Doctor Museum, rests somewhere between quirky, back-porch folk ("Brackish Water," "Heaven") and a woozy European circus soundtrack ("The Familiar Drunk," "Depravity"). But the multifaceted soundscape is only half the impression — lyrically, The Lisps have a knack for blurting out witty lines that pique the ear and make the listener reach for the liner notes (which are in, like, 0.5 type size, so grab your glasses). Song subjects range from metaphorical tales that utilize excerpts from Homer's Odyssey to rants about redemption, balloons, and documents. The music is such a great blend of old-school troubadour and contemporary rock cheekiness that it not only beckons one to the live show, but encourages the listener to jump in the caravan, too.

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