Thursday, August 12, 2010

I'd be remiss not to mention Lissie, the midwestern-born, California-living singer-songwriter who is probably one of the better musical discoveries I've had over the past year. Generally, my tolerance for humdrum folk went out the window years ago, but occasionally an artist will come along and put a new twist on an old standard in such a brilliant way that you can't help but wake up and take notice. That's Lissie in a nutshell.

Part Neko Case, part Stevie Nicks, part something-completely-her-own, Lissie's debut album Catching A Tiger runs the gamut from contemplative ballads to swinging gospel to rock 'n' roll and back 'round again with lots of stops inbetween.

I first heard of her about five or six months ago when the lovely Clare Bowditch (more on her later!) posted a link to Lissie's cover of Lady Gaga's 'Bad Romance'. Immediately intrigued, I clicked through to another song, and fell head over heels in love with a song called 'When I'm Alone':

In addition to having an extremely strong and versatile voice, Lissie also manages to bring out the essence of what music should feel like with straightforward (yet still poetic) lyrics. Her songs often meander off into what amounts to an abbreviated jam session, but instead of distracting the listener, they pull you in and expand the tracks into something meaningful and satisfying.

She's signed to Columbia Records UK, which means she's been spending a lot of time touring in Europe and not nearly enough over here in the states. Still -- grab her album when it hits US stores on August 17.

BUY: Lissie - Catching A Tiger