Scott Lippitt's Meaning Maker provides ardent and relatable storytelling with an emotional beat that ebbs and flows with each succeeding track.

Local Review: Scott Lippitt – Meaning Maker

Local Music Reviews

Scott Lippitt
Meaning Maker

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

Local artist Scott Lippitt’s recent release, Meaning Maker, is his third LP and offering to the Salt Lake City music scene. This project delivers 12 tracks that sit neatly together, creating a space for gloomy, thoughtful and engaging indie-pop to breathe and ruminate. On Lippitt’s website, he claims his musical inspirations to be “Adrianne Lenker, Death Cab for Cutie and Radiohead,” all of which can be heard and felt throughout the album. Lippitt’s soothing narrative lyricism and moody, acoustic guitar accompaniment feels like something you’d hear in a coming-of-age indie film—imagine Tom Hansen listening to Meaning Maker instead of The SmithsThe Queen is Dead when he first meets Summer in the elevator scene of 500 Days of Summer.

Lippitt eases us into the LP with previously released single “Insight In Time” as the opening track. Beginning to feel hypnotized by his soothing guitar loops and steady beat, Lippitt continues this sensation as he buzzes while singing the repeated chorus, “Insight / In Time / Insight / In Time.” The upbeat pop sound alongside an underlying, introspective message is heavily reminiscent of Death Cab for Cutie’s Kintsugi

This sound carries over to the following track and title of the album, “Meaning Maker.” Here, Lippitt sings of losing meaning in himself and feeling detached and apathetic. He continues this motif and sings of his frustration to an unidentified being, or, more likely, to himself, saying how “Your solution to everything / Is to close your eyes and make it seem / Like everything is just a dream.” The track seems to portray Lippitt’s thoughts as he battles with feeling emotionless toward 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 splitting after coming to the realization that both parties are “after different things,” but when paired with the seventh track, “Parts,” Lippitt examines that there are two sides of his mind with varying intentions, or two sides that are also “after different things.” “Parts,” however, is much more hopeful, with Lippitt proclaiming that, although parts of himself argue with each other, “We can do this if we work together.”

As the album concludes, Lippitt seems to begin to understand himself a bit better, or at least in a more empathetic light. Still searching for meaning, as we all do continuously throughout our lives, Lippitt closes with the tracks “Blur” and “Ooh Wah He,” and he ends the album with messages of forgiving yourself to allow others into your life, offering solidarity and room to breathe with a greater understanding that mistakes will be made by both yourself and those around you. Impressive, bright guitar riffs lead us out in a chorus of wildly catchy “ooh wah he” background vocals that will have you singing and bobbing along, exiting the album on a wave of optimism.

Scott Lippitt’s Meaning Maker is a great example of an indie-pop album that provides ardent and relatable storytelling with an emotional beat that ebbs and flows with each succeeding track. It’ll take you for a ride of favorable self-examination and will leave you more hopeful than you began. –Jamie Christensen

Read more music reviews and recaps from Jamie Christensen:
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The Head and the Heart w/ Dawes @ Red Butte Garden 08.08