Interview: Liza Anne

Liza Anne prepares for the release of sophomore album,

We had the opportunity to interview folk singer-songwriter Liza Anne, who releases her new album TWO later this month.  The Nashville musician made a splash with her 2014 debut album The Colder Months, leading her to travel and sing with the likes of Damien Rice and Leighton Meester.  Read more to hear what Liza Anne had to say about her new album and continued growth as a musician.

First off, congrats on the upcoming release of TWO. This being your sophomore album, how is TWO demonstrative of how you’ve evolved since your debut, The Colder Months?

I think any form of a second release is a progression – for me, mentally and creatively a lot has evolved and matured in the last year. TWO holds a lot of moments that demonstrate that, but also a lot of moments that reminisce over where The Colder Months ended. I love that, with TWO, I can have a tangible time stamp of how I’ve grown this last year. We pushed a lot of walls away sonically, lyrically and creatively – TWO is a showcase of that effort.

Did you find there were more or fewer challenges with writing and/or producing this second time around?

I don’t know – with both projects, I don’t think I’ve necessarily stumbled into challenges that have been too hard to overcome. From the writing side, everything this time fell out over the course of September and October – turning itself into a catalogue of sounds and emotions I felt while traveling. And, as far as the production side, the work relationship Zachary [producer, COIN] and I have is extremely effortless, in a sense – we work well together and have similar creative vision for the songs, even at the skeleton start of things. We gave this project room to become itself, which ended up being more intentional than having a set idea for everything before hand. 

You’ve said before that The Colder Months is a collection of stories you’ve lived. Did you find yourself pulling from the same influences for TWO?

Definitely. TWO is an account of things that happened this last year. The only difference is that for three of the songs, I invited one other mind into the writing process – so, that was funny. It’s obviously important to be extremely choosy when inviting someone else’s creative approach into something you’re so protective over, but bringing another mind into it gave the songs a side they wouldn’t have had otherwise. 

At only 19, you independently released The Colder Months. What were the greatest surprises that have come from that experience?

Everything. Everything has been surprising. I live with this strange balance of an outrageous belief in the art I’m creating, but also a low expectancy for things to happen too quickly. So, everything has been surprising and humbling and if I could hang it all on my fridge, I would have. Seriously – it’s hard to put into words how crazy and beautiful and wild this year has been. I’m so humbled.

You’ve been touring for two years, have you also been writing on the road?  How did that break from recording impact your second album?

I wrote as much as I could on the road. But, to be fair, I’ve found most of my writing and processing happened once I was back home. On the road, I’d catalogue things every day – lines, verses, rants, tiny melodies, ideas for things, favorite places and people and things I’ve stumbled into that afternoon – but it all seemed like a season of gathering to later turn into an actual piece of work.

All of those things I gathered influenced every corner of TWO – I’ve even put a field recording from London behind the last track. I have to move to create things – the creating doesn’t necessarily happen in the moving, but it happens soon after.

Do you have a favorite show from your travels?

It’s hard to think back over all the shows that I’ve been a part of this year. Most recently, I was a part of Communion’s club night in New York City. That was mental. I’ve never played to a fuller room of quieter listeners in my entire life. I dream of tours filled with nights like that one – Communion always makes me feel like I’m creating art that’s necessary. 

What’s next for you? What can the fans look forward to this year?

Next seems to be TWO releasing. And, then in the fall, I’m putting together a small list of places that I’ll play full band (supporting TWO) and then a longer list of places I’ll play solo. I’m excited to play these things for people who’ve been listening since day one and then hopefully stumble into a whole new crowd of people through the release of this new project.

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