For his first Lagniappe Session, the musician who named his debut album after Robert Ashley’s record label surprised no one by selecting a pair of deep cuts to reinterpret. The Necessaries’ “More Real” receives a dubby deconstruction with Mairesse stepping in for Arthur Russell, while his cover of Leslie Winer’s “John Says” is a welcome introduction to the musician and poet called “The Godmother of Trip Hop” by John Peel.
Lovely Music chronicles the early days of Ivan Mairesse’s Sagittaire project, pulling from material written between 2015 and 2017 in San Francisco, where Mairesse recorded the album before moving back to his hometown of Los Angeles. Mairesse takes an introspective approach to songwriting on Lovely Music, juxtaposing dark lyrics with lush pop arrangements, Fripp & Eno-esque guitar tones, and a tender vocal delivery.
On the melancholy, Fripp and Eno inspired “Desert Shore,” Mairesse sings about re-emerging in a place beyond the horizon, calmly repeating the lines “I will disappear/And I will come back.” Sagittaire’s sun-kissed jangle-pop sound shares traits in common with this beachy getaway, with a lush instrumental palette of shimmering vibraphones (“Doo Doo Doo”) and glammy fuzz guitars (“Age of 9”).