My Wild West is Lissie’s 3rd studio album and her most personal one to date; a fitting tribute to Lissie’s life in California, from her arrival as a fresh-faced singer-songwriter to now, leaving for the Midwest wiser and more self-assured. My Wild West represents both a new beginning and a return to Lissie’s Midwestern roots.
Lissie’s label Lionboy teamed up with Thirty Tigers to present My Wild West to be released on February 12th 2016 and Lissie is pleased to share the first song from the record.
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“I want my 40 acres in the sun,” sings Lissie on ‘Hero’; written before she had made the decision to leave California, the song revealed her sub-conscious desires and predicted the changes to come. It details Lissie’s struggles with life on the West Coast and the inner strength she gained from overcoming her problems to forge her own path: “I could have been a hero, I could have been a zero, I could have been all of these things”.
Lissie’s two previous albums, 2010’s Catching a Tiger and 2013’s Back to Forever, both scored in the Top 20 of the U.K. charts and Top 5 in Norway, the former going gold in both countries. Stateside, the two releases hit the Top 5 in Billboard’s Heatseekers chart, peaked at #5 and #11, respectively, on the U.S. Folk tally and went Top 40 on the Indie chart. Her songs have been licensed for countless films and TV shows, and topped numerous Best Of polls. ‘The Longest Road,’ a song she wrote with DJ Morgan Page was subsequently remixed by Deadmau5 and nominated for a ‘Best Remixed Record’ Grammy.
My Wild West was recorded with producer Curt Schneider in his Studio City home – he oversaw the project as a whole, produced 8 tracks on the record and pulled together the additional material from Lissie’s time recording with her band in Ojai and with Bill Reynolds in Nashville. Celebrating her newfound artistic freedom, Lissie found “the moment I decided not to make an album was when I really started to make the album. That took all the pressure off.” What emerged from that period was a cohesive, conceptual, musical whole. “The songs turned out to be more personal because I wasn’t adhering to a strict set schedule” she explains.
My Wild West opens with ‘Hollywood’ and closes with ‘Ojai’ – a fitting tribute to the state she has called home for more than a decade. As the album unfolds, we see a more confident Lissie coming into her own power. Her tales of triumph and self-propelled adventure were inspired by strong females close and far from home: her aunt who passed away from ALS (‘Sun Keeps Risin’), Liberian peace activist and Nobel Prize winner Leymah Gbowee, subject of the documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell (‘Daughters’). The funereal, dirge-like “Shroud” and the upbeat “Go for a Walk” shed light on the yin-and-yang nature of Lissie’s personality, the first a meditation on depression and isolation, the latter a heartfelt affirmation of nature’s power of renewal. “Stay” and “Together or Apart” detail the pain and pleasure of relationships, while “Don’t You Give Up On Me” is a spiritualized self-pep talk, urging those around her: “Don’t you give up on me/As I dive into the dark/And slip into the endless sea.”
Having recently purchased a farm on 10.7 acres in a small Iowa town, Lissie now boasts her own personal “Field of Dreams”, just across the Mississippi River from Rock Island, Illinois, where Elisabeth Maurus grew up in possession of a strong rebellious streak surrounded by the memory of steamboats and railroads of past. Concentrating on converting the barn into a recording studio, getting used to her new pick-up truck and setting up beehives, Lissie is visibly content in her new life, eager to take on each new adventure and challenge that presents itself.
With a career that has seen her open for renowned artist Lenny Kravitz (an early supporter), Tom Petty and even been asked to perform at Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore’s wedding, Lissie has had a wealth of incredible experiences that have made her the confident and determined artist she is today. As she moves into the next journey, she says, “I feel I’m in a really good place. In fact, I’m already planning a follow-up album, My Mild Midwest,” she says with a laugh.
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