A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.
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December 6, 2013 at 12:08 PM
With her star on the rise, Illinois-bred singer-songwriter Lissie easily could have filled The Crocodile by herself with her rousing performance of songs from the powerful new album, “Back to Forever.”
But opening act Kopecky Family Band, a troupe of indie rockers from Nashville with its own boisterous following, assured a full house Thursday. The late-night show was a high-value doubleheader for fans of edgy folk-rock, even though the audience seemed divided into separate camps.
Lissie, whose full name is Elisabeth Corrin Maurus, recently completed a short European tour and made appearances on “Conan” and “The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson.”
Wearing a white T-shirt and jeans, she opened just before 10:30 p.m. with “Bully,” a heartfelt song about youthful independence from her 2010 debut album, “Catching a Tiger.”
November 29, 2013 at 5:45 AM
While she was growing up in Rock Island, Ill., Lissie’s feistiness and outspokenness often got her into trouble with those in authority.
“If you grow up in a small town and you stick out or draw attention to yourself, you’re going to attract some unwanted people who try to put you in your place,” says Lissie, a fast-rising singer-songwriter whose real name is Elisabeth Corrin Maurus.
“It motivated me to say, ‘I’ll show you. I’m going to get out of here and make something of myself.’”
Indeed she has.
On “Back to Forever” (Fat Possum), her sophomore album, Lissie’s teenage rebellion has evolved into a knack for sharp commentary about adult themes — unrequited love, dead-end jobs and environmental degradation. Her country-tinged folk-rock songs are filled with emotional urgency and huge pop hooks.
October 8, 2013 at 5:35 AM
Lissie, ‘Back to Forever’ (Fat Possum)
Love isn’t a many splendored thing on Lissie’s sophomore album, “Back to Forever.” On some songs, she’s reeling. On others, she healing. “Does anyone love anyone anymore?” she sings on “Further Away (Romance Police),” an arresting tune about failed romance that’s hard to get out of your head.
The Illinois native (born Elisabeth Corrin Maurus), who played Bumbershoot this year, writes infectious, country-tinged folk-rock songs filled with emotional urgency. Despite her pain and openhearted melancholy, she conveys a feisty but cautious self-confidence.
Her impressive, 12-song second album features three especially strong tunes, “Further Away (Romance Police),” “Shameless” and “I Don’t Wanna Go to Work,” an anthem for the underappreciated. The album opens with “The Habit,” about cycles of addiction in romance (and substance abuse).
Throughout the Julian Emery-produced album, Lissie’s honey-lime voice soars above a powerful mix of keyboards, guitar, bass and drums.
One of the more topical songs is “Mountaintop Removal,” about environmental degradation, broken dreams and economic hardship, using the ruins of a factory as a symbol of decline. There’s a sense of remorse and outrage that recalls The Pretenders’ “My City Was Gone.”
The album closes with the wistful, nostalgic title song: “If I had my way / We would stay golden / Frozen in frame / Never get older.” It’s the final gem in a string of pearls.
Other new releases
Miley Cyrus , “Bangerz” (RCA)
Tony Bennett, “Live at the Sahara: Las Vegas, 1964” (Sony Legacy)
Sleigh Bells, “Bitter Rivals” (Mom & Pop)
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