Sometimes the best effect an EP can have is to leave you frustrated. Not because of the content itself but because of its short duration. Lomb, the debut release by German artist Pony Pracht is one of those frustrating releases that make you instantly long for more after its four tracks (three original recordings plus one remix). It feels like a first glimpse into a bigger musical cosmos while simultaneously sending the listener into a meditative state of bliss. Lomb delivers cloudy pop constructs, carried by a talented and aspiring artist that combines profound songwriting with a precise artistic vision. “This the first piece of music I dared to make on my own,” Lisa Zwinzscher aka Pony Pracht tells me. After many years in various bands (like the previously on this blog featured Elephants On Tape) and projects, the Leipzig-based musician was curious to explore what might happen when she makes music on her own – without compromise and interference.
The process of Lomb was also the process of a woman gaining artistic independency asking herself questions like “What does Lisa do when she’s alone in the studio?” and “What does Pony Pracht sound like?” “That’s why I did everything myself up to the mix, but then I handed over the mastering,” she explains. All songs were written in the same period of time, during the lockdown summer of 2020, and with certain effect devices and methods. These tracks – cryptically titled Ohhß, Aics, and Gomb – explore a common thread of vocal harmonies. Why did it take Pony Pracht more than two years to release them into the world (one track already saw the light of day in early 2021)?
“I realised that I’m not ready yet. I’ve almost never made music alone until this summer. Releasing music as a solo artist takes a lot of courage. You get naked and can’t hide behind another band member and spread possible criticism over several heads. As a band, you are a wall that everything can crash against. As a solo act, you can be a wall too, but you’re much more fragile. I wanted to make sure I knew what I was stepping out with.”
A playground for experimentation
According to Lisa the vision of Pony Pracht still had to develop. On top of that, she was involved in a lot of other projects and started a Master’s degree. There was no time and no headspace. “At the end of last year, I finally tackled it and concentrated only on that. And that feels very good.”
There’s also a multidisciplinary approach to the artist’s work, however, the music is always her main focus.“When I write songs, I can only concentrate on that, sometimes the images come into my head, but often not,” she tells me. “I create the visuals afterward and let myself be guided by things that interest me or techniques that I want to try out.” The multimedia approach was not planned that way but came by accident and creative hunger as Lisa tells me. “I like to work alone on the computer and a year ago I discovered 3D art for myself, which led to the videos for ‘Ohhß’ and ‘Aics’ and the idea to develop a music video game. The view from the visual perspective gives me a different perspective on my music. I just love to learn new things and I need balance so that I can take a break from music in between. The freedom to play and experiment in the different genres is an essential part of my work.”
Obviously, the listener is also invited to explore these songs without any visual components and that can also be a very fulfilling experience. Pony Pracht‘s ability to create musical microcosms reminds a bit of the work of Björk and FKA twigs. Nothing sounds forced, every sound and melody is free to develop a life of its own, it seems.
“I can lose myself very well in floating sounds. I love unexcitedness and repetition. I like the many different layers and when I listen I want to step into another world and hear what is to be found under the many layers.”
Part of her approach is the artist’s desire to get surprised by her own music. “I am inspired by music that doesn’t have to stick to common pop structures but still has catchy melodies,” she tells me. “The poppiest songs always don’t get far with me because I overhear them too quickly, hence the experimental approach, I guess.”
If you share that same slightly frustrating feeling after listening Lomb you might be happy to hear that this is indeed just the beginning of Pony Pracht as she confirms to me. “I have a lot of ideas and am already writing my debut album (and in my head already the second)” On top of it the restless creative mind is currently developing her own instrument. “It’s a digital harmony instrument that consists of samples of my voice. It can be played like a synthesizer and is very versatile… by now it has about 2000 samples and there are more to come. I call it ‘The Ponyphone’.
Lomb is out now via Schatulle Böhm. Listen to it over on Bandcamp.
Every Monday, the NBHAP staff brings an exciting new artist to your attention alongside a 30-track-strong Introducing Playlist on Spotify. Feel invited to follow the playlist and give these talents a spin.
Along with tracks from Pony Pracht‘s debut, this week’s update includes new songs from Yaeji, Matilda Mann, Softcult, and more. Tune in below.