“Lissie Maurus has the voice, the songs and the image — freckle-faced barefoot prairie girl transported to an LA canyon in 1972, cooing like an angel and strumming an acoustic guitar — to be huge in 2010. Her first release, Why You Runnin’, pitches her midway between the ethereal spookiness of Jesca Hoop or Neko Case and the commercially copper-bottomed country-rock lilt of Sheryl Crow and solo Stevie Nicks. The EP captures what makes Maurus so compelling: a clear-as-a-bell singing voice, a knack for melody that sounds effortless, a direct line to a song’s emotional core, and a talent way too big for just one canyon.” – Sunday Times Culture
“The five tracks revel in pure, countrified sorrow, with Lissie’s glorious voice steeped in whiskey and reverb on raucous lead single ‘Little Lovin’’ and plaintive hometown ballad ‘Oh Mississippi’ – a haunting glimpse at what’s in store for her full-length debut, coming in 2010.” – Paste US
For those of you yet to discover her; Lissie is a mesmerizing new artist from along the banks of the Mississippi, Rock Island, Illinois.
Following the massive critical acclaim heaped upon her US Fat Possum released & Bill Reynolds (Band of Horses) produced Why You Runnin’ EP late last year, Lissie releases her first material for Columbia Records on April 5th 2010. Lead by ‘In Sleep’, UK fans will now get a chance to see what has gripped bloggers, fans and buyers stateside.
Why You Runnin’, has been earning the young singer high praise, with coverage in Bust, Filter, Marie Claire, Nylon, and Under The Radar to name but a few. In addition to the recent ‘Best of What’s Next’ profile in Paste, the Boston Globe included her in their ‘Names To Know’ in 2010 feature, declaring she is “...not so much a soul singer as she is an incredibly soulful Americana artist who finds the sepia-toned sweet spot between Neko Case, Laura Marling, and the Shangri-Las.” Comparisons such as these and with other luminaries like Stevie Nicks & Chrissie Hynde may already be coming thick and fast, but in 2010 you’ll have a chance to discover who Lissie really is for yourselves; an artist as relevant to the present day as at peace with the artistry of the last four decades.
Recorded in Nashville late last year with Jacquire King (Kings of Leon), Lissie’s debut album which will follow this summer is packed full of surprises. For starters there is a voice that crackles with the influence of the blues as much as it does with say folk music, and a range and delivery that could put most rock singers to shame. Then more importantly there are the songs; where wonderfully brooding & emotionally charged stories mix with a magical warmth that feels as at home blasting out of a radio today as it does driving across the desert with the wind in your hair.
Lissie lives by herself, with her dog, in a farmhouse in Ojai, California, away from the beaten & obvious track of LA’s music scene. There are many things from her life & history that make these songs and her spirit possible, some of it in deference to that spirit: having a grandfather who was an international barbershop quartet champion, having a great-grandfather who was a train-jumping hobo on this famous Rock Island Line (the Cash song of the same name Lissie has played in hometown gigs), a father who delivered her at her birth, getting kicked out of high school, selling honey for living money upon coming to LA and an inability to separate herself from this Midwestern city where many just raise their families, get fat and die satisfied.
Lissie returns to the UK this month for a pair of shows in London, where the uninitiated would be wise to check her out early, before heading back to the US for a run of dates as special guests to The Low Anthem en route to several appearances at this year’s SXSW festival. These US shows come off the back of recent dates as special guests to Ray LaMontagne & City and Colour that have seen Lissie pick up rave reviews across the board. Lissie will then return to tour the UK later this spring. Watch this space for more details