TFFT recently caught up with the wonderful Lissie, who releases her brand new album My Wild West this week. She discusses the new record, upcoming live shows and moving back home…
Hey Lissie! Thanks for chatting to us. How is 2016 treating you so far?
Hi and well thanks! It’s been a busy month of promo in the US for the new record!
My Wild West is inspired by your moving away from California and back home to the Midwest. What motivated the change?
I’ve always known that I wanted to own a farm in Iowa and in early 2015, something in my gut just said it was time to go for it! I was ready for a new adventure and to be closer to my family.
Do you think a return to the rural life will influence the sound of future records?
Yes and I’m very excited to get this album promoted and off the road so that I can move into my house and start my plans. It’s gonna be a process! I definitely think that once I’m settled in, the surroundings will inform my songwriting!
Did you prefer taking a more unscheduled approach to writing this album, and has it allowed the songs to explore more personal topics?
When I made My Wild West I was adamant that I wasn’t making an album to release but just to finish up some songs and throw them online. Having no expectation of outcome really allowed me to write whatever I felt like and make the songs sound however I wanted them to, with guidance from the incredible and patient Curt Schneider! It was a very stress free, free flowing and fun experience. So yes, I guess I did prefer it! The personal topics might have been a result of this method, but also I just think it was the headspace I was in around that time in early ’15.
Sun Keeps Risin’ feels like an incredibly personal song, and a lot of people will relate to this expression of loss. Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind it?
Tragically, my Aunt Laura passed away from ALS in 2010, an awful disease for which there is no known cause or cure. We were very close and she was an incredible woman. That kind of loss is so hard to process or make sense of. I had tried for a long time to convey how odd it felt that the world just kept on turning. In early 2015 I was sitting by a fire with my friend and co-writer, Martin Craft, and that song just flowed out of me in this really complete and emotional way.
You sold out London’s Union Chapel in just 24 hours last year. Do you enjoy playing for English audiences?
I was so excited and proud that I was able to do that! I’ve had a long love affair with UK audiences and I enjoy their steadfast support and enthusiasm. I feel very fortunate that I can come back time and time again and they’ll greet me warmly!
Are you looking forward to your show at The Forum next month?
I am! It was meant to be at Shepherd’s Bush, which I’ve played and love but due to renovations, I’ll be at the Forum. I’ve never been, so I’ll look forward to a new venue and vibe! It’ll be nice to be back with a new album and band too. It feels like a good next step!
Finally, what are your plans for the rest of this year?
I’ll be promoting the record until I can take a bit of time to move into my new home and see what that new life is gonna be like! I of course will try and find the balance between making a home life and sharing my music
Questions by Kerry Manning