Liz Longley

Liz Longley

by Liz LongleyLiz Longley

CD

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Overview

Liz Longley's self-titled Sugar Hill debut is the recording that should make the rest of the country aware of what East Coast audiences have known for a while: that she's a savvy singer/songwriter whose work is as well-crafted as it is intimate and direct. The album was originally funded by a Kickstarter campaign whose end result far exceeded her expectations. Recorded in Nashville (where she now lives) at Ocean Way with producer Gus Berry and remixed by Gary Paczosa, the 11-song set was authored almost exclusively by Longley -- save for "This Is Not the End," co-written with a handful of other writers including Shannon Wright. Her cast of top-notch Nashville session players may provide polish, but, if anything, they highlight the kind of discipline and focus Longley displays as a songwriter -- especially when writing a full album of love songs (mostly written in the rearview mirror of a relationship). This meld of contemporary country, folk, Americana, and pop shines in tracks like the opener, with its ringing guitars underscoring the determination of the protagonist to exorcize a former lover from her life. It's not bitter; it's vulnerable but steely in its determination. It's even more militant in "Skin & Bones" with its acoustic mandolins and reverb-laden country-blues vocal juxtaposed against electric guitars and popping, rolling tom-toms. On first single "Bad Habit" there's an irresistible hook in the chorus. The lyrics are direct and searing as she uses a former lover's cigarette smoke as a metaphor for the obsession and longing that remain in the aftermath of a toxic relationship. Likewise, album-opener "Outta My Head" revels in the sonic and hook trains some of the best songs on Taylor Swift's Red did. That said, "You've Got That Way," which simultaneously references the elegant country pop of Patsy Cline and early rock & roll crooning (Longley indulges her fine falsetto), complete with a backing chorus and a poignant, subtle B-3, is even better. Its bridge is worthy of Mort Shuman. "Memphis" is a gorgeously sung midtempo ballad that perfectly marries contemporary country to pop
ock. The aforementioned "This Is Not the End," a searing love song with a swelling arrangement, sounds like a second single. The lead guitar fills and breaks add both drama and a sense of transcendence. Lyrically, it depicts the end of a relationship but not love. Longley's self-titled album is assured. "Camaro" rocks hard enough to cross over (à la Fleetwood Mac), with popping snares, roiling guitars, and soaring, passionate vocals; it gets to the emotional tipping point without ever falling over (unlike the only real misstep, the anthemic closer "We Run"). Longley's album is the work of an artist seasoned by hard-won experiences in the recording studio as well as on-stage. There isn't a song here that wouldn't translate with a full band or played solo.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/17/2015
Label: Welk Records
UPC: 0015891410821
catalogNumber: 141082
Rank: 161574

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Liz Longley   Primary Artist
J.T. Corenflos   Electric Guitar,Slide Guitar
John Hobbs   Piano,Hammond B3
Michael Rhodes   Bass,Acoustic Bass
Tom Bukovac   Electric Guitar
Marco Giovino   Percussion,Bells,Shells,Metal Objects
Allen Salmon   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Percussion,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Danny Rader   Acoustic Guitar,Bouzouki,Accordion,Mandola,Gut String Guitar,Hi String
Gus Berry   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Piano,Electric Guitar,Tambourine,Background Vocals,Slide Guitar,wah wah guitar,Hi String,Whisper
Nir "Z" Zidkyahu   Drums
Madison Berry   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Ben Fowler   Engineer
Michelle Lewis   Composer
Shannon Wright   Composer
Liz Longley   Composer
Gus Berry   Programming,Producer,Engineer
LuckAllen Salmon   Composer

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