Local Critic: Scott Lippitt – Maker of Meaning

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Scott Lippit
maker of meaning

Self-released
Street: 10.07
Scott Lippitt = Cavetown + Death Cab for Cutie

Local artist Scott Lippitt’s recent release, maker of meaning, is his third LP and delivers to the Salt Lake City music scene. This project features 12 tracks that fit together seamlessly, creating space for dark, thoughtful and engaging indie-pop to breathe and ruminate on. On Lippitt’s website, he claims his musical inspirations are “Adrian Lenker, Death Taxi for Cutie and Radioheadwhich can all be heard and felt throughout the album. Lippitt’s soothing narrative lyricism and moody acoustic guitar accompaniment sounds like something you’d hear in an indie coming-of-age film – imagine Tom Hansen listening maker of meaning instead of The SmithsThe queen is dead when he first meets Summer in the elevator scene of 500 days of summer.

Lippitt ushers us into the LP with the previously released single “Insight In Time” as the opener. Beginning to feel mesmerized by its soothing guitar loops and steady rhythm, Lippitt continues this feeling by humming while singing the repeated chorus, “Insight/In Time/Insight/In Time”. The upbeat pop sound accompanied by an underlying introspective message is strongly reminiscent of Death Cab for Cutie’s Kintsugi.

This sound carries over to the next track and the title of the album, “Meaning Maker”. Here, Lippitt sings about the loss of meaning within himself and feels detached and apathetic. He continues this motif and sings his frustration to an unidentified being, or, more likely, to himself, saying that “Your solution to everything / Is to close your eyes and make believe / As if it’s all just ‘a dream.” The track appears to depict Lippitt’s thoughts as he struggles with feelings of emotionlessness towards what might have previously brought him joy, documenting attempts to find new meaning in his life.

This theme continues throughout the album, with the first half delivering this message in a more pessimistic tone. I read the sixth track “After Different Things” as a relationship falling apart after realizing that the two parties are “after different things”, but when paired with the seventh track, “Parts”, Lippitt examines that there are two sides of his mind with different intentions, or two sides that are also ‘after different things’. “Parts”, however, is much more optimistic, Lippitt proclaiming that, although parts of himself are arguing, “we can do it if we work together”.

By the end of the album, Lippitt seems to be beginning to understand himself a bit better, or at least in a more empathetic light. Always searching for meaning, as we all do continually throughout our lives, Lippitt closes with the tracks “Blur” and “Ooh Wah He”, and he closes the album with messages of forgiveness to allow others to come into your life, offering solidarity and breathing space with a greater understanding that mistakes will be made by both yourself and those around you. Impressive and brilliant guitar riffs sweep us into a chorus of extremely catchy “ooh wah he” background vocals that will have you singing and dancing, rolling off the album on a wave of optimism.

by Scott Lippitt maker of meaning is a great example of an indie-pop album that provides fiery, relatable storytelling with an emotional beat that comes and goes with each subsequent track. This will bring you to a favorable self-examination round and leave you with more hope than you started with. –Jamie Christensen

Read more music reviews and recaps from Jamie Christensen:
Local review: She and the echo – The Unknown EP
Head and Heart with Dawes @ Red Butte Garden 08.08

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