Lissie - My Wild West
Re-listening to Lissie’s first two albums suggests, slightly in retrospect, that she has a definite career trajectory. 2010’s Catching A Tiger was the upbeat, major label debut, with radio-friendly melodies and charting hit, before 2013’s Back To Forever got a little bitter and reticent about the fame game (listen to the fierce refrain of ‘Shameless’). Her latest, the self-released My Wild West, continues that journey away from the big money of record deals, pressure of chart hits, and the intense limelight all that brings; sitting squarely on the independent rung of the ladder. But this is no small fall from grace, in fact we should be grateful these twelve tracks exist at all as Elisabeth Maurus had all but quit the business as she left her LA home to move east.
It’s this restlessness and sense of new beginnings that frame My Wild West. Lyrics like “I haven't lost my hope / Even though I am so far from my home” from the title track; and the opening chorus from final track ‘Ojai’, named after her former California hometown "As I cut these ties, I realize / I've been disbelieving in my own heart / And the deceiving is the hardest part / And I feel the knowing that I must be going”, and ‘Shroud’ of the feeling of needing change ("I feel like I have lost my mind"). Written across the two years where her decision to move was made and put into action, the album tracks that time almost to a tee. Not everything heeds this storyline though, ‘Hero’ is her classic sound, and ‘Daughters’ one of her songs that means something. Bottom line? This is peak Lissie: folk-pop-rock with great melodies, husky vocals, and a whole heap of passion.