A protean mix of modern synth-pop, Lida Husik’s Green Blue Fire (Astralwerks) builds firmly on the promise of its pleasant but plain predecessor, Joyride. The New York–based but D.C.-bred Husik conducts her experiments in electronica with British techno artists and producers Beaumont Hannant and Richard Brown under the name Husikesque to keep them separate from the psychedelic folk-rock she records as a solo artist. But Husik’s songwriter roots are primarily responsible for Green Blue Fire’s being such a distinctive and immediately memorable electronic record. Rather than grinding like floor-friendly butt-bumpers, Husikesque’s triphoppy compositions flow, build, and peak like traditional songs.

Husik’s liner notes are effusive in their praise of the beautiful English countryside she explored while recording Fire. Britain’s pastoral settings have elicited from the songwriter rather aggressive words about America: On “Bad Head Day” she sings, “Rave on America/You frothing old blister/You piss-soaked young gutter/You twisted throat-cutter/You gun-fed fat fucker.” “I’m always kind of critical, but being in such a literate country maybe already heightened my already bad attitude about America,” Husik admits.

After the music was recorded, Husik would compose her impressionistic lyrics while taking long walks with her Walkman. “It’s really dramatic and beautiful over there….I think being away from my normal life and being in a really beautiful setting influenced [my lyrics]. But I think they’re kind of sad, overall.”

Husik is now back in D.C. recording her fifth rock record and seems slightly detached when discussing Fire. “You know, part of it is, when I do press for things it’s always a year later. You don’t really remember the experience,” she explains. “I get kind of these sharp pains when I smell this certain bubble bath that I used over there. Because it was really an emotional time for me. It was just so valuable in so many ways. Just to be on my own, alone for a long period.”—Christopher Porter