Liz Lawrence struck gold when producing her new solo material, crash coursing herself back into the game after touring the world as a part of electro-pop duo Cash+David. The Rodeo managed to catch her before the release of her new album Pity Party.
Hey Liz, how are you? It’s an exciting time with the album coming out soon and plenty of live shows coming up, how are you feeling about everything and what are you most excited about? I’m very well thank you, just had a nap. I’m excited, things are feeling good. Looking forward to people spending some time with the record and hopefully coming down to see some live shows and connecting with me in real life.
From the singles, Pity Party, seems quite far removed from the folk/pop sound of your debut, is this linked to the lyrical themes running throughout the record? It’s been years since my first record, I’ve learned so much more about my voice and my context since then. Back then I didn’t really know how to speak up, didn’t trust myself or my instincts and the first record came out more like how I was perceived than what I was trying to project. This second record was all about taking myself back and owning myself.
The record doesn’t contain a track called Pity Party, so how come you chose this as the album’s title? Are these songs all guests at the pity party? That would be quite the gathering. Pity Party as a title was trying to sum up a central tension in the record, where the real resistance was happening, and the energy was coming from. The push and pull between emotional gluttony, existential angst and the nothing-much of day to day life.
You also produced the album, what benefits does self-producing an album bring? Most importantly it made me feel capable and in charge of my output, that was vital in my quest to reclaim myself, but I think it can also make you sort of myopic. I’d love to collaborate with a producer on the next record.
A lot has happened since the 2011 debut, setbacks as well as exciting opportunities, what have you learnt over the last 7 or 8 years and how has it helped you develop as an artist? Nothing ventured nothing gained, it’s all part of it. I feel so much stronger than I used to, and I have a more sort of deep respect for making music and being an artist. You start to learn what you really don’t want and then you have some marks in the road, you know, some pointers about how to navigate forward your own way.
It’s not as if you haven’t been making music…you spent some time recording in a duo as Cash and David, did this experience influence the new album at all? It did in that I learned a lot of my production skills during my years as David, so I brought all that to the table.
There were also three double A-side singles last year, are these 6 songs linked in any way, or were you just ready to release some music and put something new out in the world? They weren’t linked, it was just a case of trying to introduce people and get people up to date with where I was at with my sound. Like you said it feels like a big leap from my first record, so those 6 tracks were a way of sort of crash coursing myself back into the game.
You’ve said that music that makes you walk with a swagger drove your teenage years, any songs or artists, in particular, that did that for you? Oh yeah – The Clash, The Prodigy, Run DMC, LCD Soundsystem, J5, Rancid, Cypress Hill, Damian Marley. I just love how putting headphones on can dramatically shift where you are into something other-worldly or glamorous or exciting.
A lot of the new album was written in Cornwall, did a change of surrounds inspire more creativity? I was only in Cornwall for a week, so not really. It was more than I needed total solitude and space. I can’t write if anyone can hear me, I need to feel like I can scream and no one would hear. My friend had a place he was in the middle of renovating and said I could go there and get my head down and work.
The record, if bought on vinyl, comes with a few polaroid’s I saw. Are you a keen photographer yourself? I like to take photos on my film camera, mostly of sentimental things.
You’ve got loads of shows coming up next year, tell us about your live set. What can people expect? 100% energy or your money back.
We’re particularly excited for the Manchester show on February 20th. We want to know if you’ve got a favourite spot in Manchester when you’ve visited in the past? I always have such a good time partying in Manchester. I loved playing the pink room at YES this year. There is a guy at the market who will make your dog a coat out of pretty much anything if you just take him the shirt, he’ll make it dog-sized. Might pop and see him with a blues shirt too whilst I’m there.
Liz Lawrence will be headline The Deaf Institute in Manchester on 20th February. Tickets are available HERE!Or read the latest volume of our print magazine HERE.