American folk-rocker Lissie is getting her operation back to working order, in much the same way we all are. First up, she tells Buzz’s Carl Marsh, is a reissue of her debut album, a decade after it established her. Except they had to delay it, so it’s 11 years now. Ah well!
Was it always your plan to release a 10-year anniversary edition of debut album Catching A Tiger, or was it lockdown boredom that instigated it?
Yeah and no. Back in 2019, we talked about doing something to mark the 10th anniversary of Catching A Tiger, because it was the album that gave me a career, and was this very exciting time in my life where people were really responding to my music and my songs. So many awesome opportunities came from that record. So, we’d always planned on doing the 10th anniversary, with unreleased songs and artwork from that same time.
But then, at the beginning of 2020, we were starting to plan the details of getting this release out for the 10-year anniversary; the first week in March, when we were starting to get things going, it became pretty clear that this pandemic had hit, and everyone was just kind of in shock. And so we just put it to the side. I was supposed to play at the Oslo Opera House in June 2020. And that was rescheduled for this year – and now that’s been cancelled because it’s still tricky to travel.
Plus, as you also wanted to put a vinyl version of this album out, the release had to be delayed due to production or supply issues?
Yeah, it’s kind of one thing after another. I don’t know if you are aware of this, but vinyl production is seriously messed up right now just because of shortages, and scarcities and so forth. I don’t think they are even really COVID-related: I just think that there’s so much demand now for vinyl. And there’s not a lot of places that actually press vinyl.
That makes sense – it’s not the 1980s, when vinyl was the main format, or even the 90s. But people are getting back into it, so there’s likely an issue of more demand than there is supply?
Yeah. It’s like we’re learning so much about how the world works these days. It did give me more time to find old notebooks and old hard drives; an opportunity in my home to reflect on my life, take a trip down memory lane so to speak, which also led to all of these other songs that I wrote before Catching A Tiger. So in this day and age of the internet and with content, I thought, let’s just get those out into the world as well [as the Watch Over Me compilation]. Why not?
But yeah, a new album of original material is in process. I’m kind of ready to move on, to be honest with you, but it just keeps dragging out! [laughter]
Some artists have told me they have three or four albums worth of material written down. Is that the case with you too?
You know, for about the first eight months of COVID, I wasn’t writing. I had gone through a breakup, and everything in the US was just so bad, and still is – just so volatile and tense with the pandemic. It was just like information overload: where do you even start? What do I even choose to express myself about? There’s so much there that it was kind of paralysing.
So, I didn’t start writing again until this past November. But yeah, it’s been a time to be reflective, in whatever way that’s meant for artists, and everybody, you know.
words CARL MARSH photos ELAINE CONSTANTINE
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