Five years ago, Caroline Lufkin made ripples across the Japanese pop music scene when she famously walked away from a lucrative major label contract that virtually guaranteed the same kind of bright-light super-stardom that made her sister Olivia a household name in Tokyo. Instead, Caroline took the long way; a slow, creatively fulfilling path where she writes, performs and records her own songs and owns her every success or failure - while taking pride in both.
Verdugo Hills builds upon the same minimalist, angelic pop that made her debut album, Murmurs, so striking. Having spent the past several years as a full-time member of the small musical army that is Mice Parade, Caroline has mastered the art of mingling a dozen or more distinct sounds to form miniature symphonies for the soul that can turn from an icy chill to a warm glow in the span of a few breaths. Her lyrical delivery and subject matter have matured enormously, exposing new depths to her emotional range to accompany the deceptively subdued mix of acoustic and electronic instrumentation.
Ultimately Verdugo Hills succeeds emphatically in giving electronic music a comforting heartbeat and a contemplative soul, feats Caroline were unlikely to accomplish had she taken the straight road to overnight fame and fortune. She has become an intriguing and understated figure in the world of electronic pop music, accelerating the genre with startling, unexpected beauty while leaving lasting impressions on all of us who are along for the ride.