Dear Diary: Inside the Mind of Lisa Prank

Lisa Prank started with a Sharpie, sort of.

Robin Edwards a.k.a. Lisa Prank was tagging doodles and sketches with the playful name before realizing a drum machine, purchased from a dad on Craigslist and stacks of journals would be the start of a solo endeavor.

In 2014, Lisa Prank emerged with a Crush on the World and two years later she’s back - this time a little older but still just as playful, or as she’s dubbed this period of growth - Adult Teen.

If you’re a fan of journaling that your sketches, doodles, scrawls about crushes and bad days are tucked away and hidden from the world. The words, drawings and memories contained in those pages are meant for your eyes only, but for Robin, her journals are turned into song - yours to devour and study.

“I’ve been really big into journaling since I was a kid,” she said. “I have so many notebooks and being able to share that - it’s very vulnerable and powerful. By sharing these feelings publicly they’re released into the world for others to hear.”

The initial listens of Adult Teen have played out liked fresh pages in a composition book with Robin coloring the sunny, perfect beginnings of a relationship (“Luv is Dumb’) and its eventual rocky, tumultuous end (“Starting Again”).  

On this debut full-length album and previous EP, all of the material has come from Robin’s life experiences. Although she has a varied batch of subject material, her dealings in love and relationships make up the bulk of her work.

“I kind of wrestle with the idea that everyone experiences love, but nobody ever teaches you how to love,” she said. “My teachers have been art, like music, movies and books. I learned how to be an emotional person through those tools."

Lisa Prank began because Robin wanted something of her own. After working with other bands she wanted something independent of anyone else, a project that would allow her to release and tour as she pleased. In Denver, she set up house shows, playing as Lisa Prank and teaching herself how to use a drum machine with the help of online tutorials and YouTube. Putting up bedroom demos on Bandcamp she was unsure if anyone would notice. Lucky for her, tape label That Summer Feeling did notice and put Crush on the World out on a limited run.

Following that release her songwriting continued and when Robin felt she had enough material, she began the recording of Adult Teen - an homage to a period of time where she truly feels like a teenager, despite her age.

“The way my life is now I’m more like a teenager than ever before or even when I was an actual teenager,” she said. “I feel a lot of big feelings and I’m living in a house with my best friends and it’s like a slumber party every night.”

Like many her age, life has certainly not turned out the way she anticipated, but despite that Robin is committed to remaining optimistic and hopeful, and unjaded. 

“I’m really proud of all the songs on Adult Teen and I listen back to them now and it’s interesting because I no longer feel that way because I’ve worked through those feelings,” she said. “I processed those feelings and found my way with the aid of songwriting.”

As she eyes what might be next for Lisa Prank, Robin hopes to tour on the material and continue her songwriting. For her, one of the most important aspects of this project is preventing others from feeling so alone, and keeping her former self at the center of it all. 

"I like being and staying in touch with the teenage version of myself and checking to see if she'd like where I am now," she said. "I think teenage Robin would be pretty stoked."

Through the Tin Cans: Departure from Venus - ROMP

mp3: "Real" - Grace Joyner