Lisa/Liza is the songwriting project of Liza Victoria, developed within Maine’s strange and wonderful DIY music scene. She has toured nationally with Jens Lekman and Advance Base and shared bills with Angel Olsen, Kaki King, Lucy Dacus, and Julie Byrne. Lisa/Liza’s catalog spans ten years, with The First Museum, her debut album, out in 2014, three albums on Orindal Records (Deserts of Youth in 2016, Momentary Glance in 2018 and Shelter of a Song in 2020), a single released through Mexican Summer’s Looking Glass, and a spate of self-released home recordings. Her songwriting invites traditional folk guitar-playing and lyricism into dream-like domains, directing memory’s imperfections toward restoration and healing. Her latest album, Breaking and Mending, out April 28, again on Orindal Records, the heavy, open-ended waltzes of her past work assume a more linear form, as Lisa/Liza carries on her tradition of shedding light on personal trauma and life’s greater mysteries through song. Questions about love and the natural world are met with moments of clarity, sparked by recollections of Judee Sill or John Prine. Above all, Breaking and Mending deals in dualities and the beauty of self-reconstruction, as carefully underlined in the opening track Felt Twice: “They tell me/ the body minds/ they said that, the mind was the body, Well each time that I fell, I felt twice, What else can I tell everybody?”
What Lisa says: “I wrote many of these songs working through heavy aspects of living with chronic illness. Recovering and then not knowing when I would have to be strong again. Feeling alone and fighting that loneliness with every resource I had the energy to collect. Music was a friend to me during this, and I know it will continue to be. The songs were often written in times when I felt well enough to write. Sometimes I was exhausted from these experiences and I wrote about what was on my mind. I was dealing with the heavy lifting of working through trauma at the same time. These songs were a result of those experiences. When I hear them, I think that maybe I put more of myself into these songs than I have into any other album. I am glad to hear that now. It feels very much like it captured my emotional landscape in the last two years.”
Her Mixtape: “Here are seven songs that feel important to me at the moment. I hope you enjoy listening. Thank you!”
Kurt Weisman – Be Nice to Your Song
This is the most psychedelic album I’ve heard in a long time, it really feels important. It’s capturing something so unique and poetic and I hope many people are listening to it.
Yo La Tengo – Miles Away
This entire album feels to me like social commentary on the way the world feels right now. Often overwhelming, and full of much sadness. It’s beautiful and wonderfully captivating in its efforts. I feel it so much and I’m so glad this record exists. It feels like pushing through the fog of desolate realities.
Elyse Weinberg – Houses (with Neil Young)
I don’t know if this is a love song or a grief song, definitely psychedelic and mysterious. It holds something unique. Something honest. The vocals are beautiful and it feels a little bit warmer in this version with Neil Young singing along.
Neil Young – I Believe in You
Really good song, Neil Young is the best. This whole album is quite beautiful.
Bob Dylan – I Can’t Leave Her Behind
Something incredibly comforting about listening to this on repeat. Which I do sometimes.
Constant Follower – Song For A Willow Tree
I found this album on the Bandcamp home page. Just the way that the guitar is recorded is so clear and beautiful. It makes me want to wake up early and watch the sunrise.I think we all need a calming record like this.
Julie Byrne – Summer Glass
I love Julie Byrne and it’s so exciting to have a new album on the horizon. This one already feels so different, so expansive and new. It’s an inspiration.
“I swore I’d show myself so I could renew
That’s not the same as being new forever
The shape of your hand left in the dust of summer glass
I want to be whole enough to risk again”
Breaking And Mending is out now on Orindal Records. Look HERE for more information on Lisa/Liza.