Lissie My Wild West on Colored 180g LP + Download
First Pressing on Colored Vinyl
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My Wild West begins with an overture, by definition an "introduction to something more substantial." In this case it is Lissie's third studio album and her most personal one to date, a fitting tribute to her life in California, from her arrival as a fresh-faced singer-songwriter til now, leaving for the Midwest wiser and more self-assured. Bookended by the songs "Hollywood" and "Ojai", it brings out the two extremes of the past decade – the dashed hopes and heartbreak of the former and the "stability, joy and peace" of the latter. My Wild West represents both a new beginning and a return to Lissie's Midwestern roots.
My Wild West was recorded with producer Curt Schneider in his Studio City home – he oversaw the project as a whole, produced 8 tracks on the record and pulled together the additional material from Lissie's time recording with her band in Ojai and with Bill Reynolds in Nashville. As the album unfolds, we see a more confident Lissie, self-assured and coming into her own power. "I want my 40 acres in the sun," sings Lissie on "Hero," written before she had made the decision to leave California. It details Lissie's struggles with life on the West Coast and the inner strength she gained from overcoming her problems to forge her own path.
What emerged was a cohesive, conceptual, musical whole, which belied the rather unorthodox manner in which it was created. "The songs turned out to be more personal because I wasn't adhering to a strict set schedule," she realized. "In writing ‘Hero' and ‘Wild West,' I had no idea at the time I was going to leave California and move back to the Midwest. I feel like their very creation was predictive of the changes that were coming. The moment I decided not to make an album was when I really started to make the album. That took all the pressure off!"
Lissie's tales of triumph and self-propelled adventure were inspired by strong females close and far from home: "Sun Keeps Risin'" was inspired by an aunt of Lissie's who passed away from ALS, while "Daughters" is a pro-feminist call-to-arms that took its cue from Liberian peace activist and Nobel Prize winner Leymah Gbowee, subject of the documentary, Pray the Devil Back to Hell. The funereal, dirge-like "Shroud" and the upbeat "Go for a Walk" shed light on the yin-and-yang nature of Lissie's personality, the first a meditation on depression and isolation, the latter a heartfelt affirmation of nature's power of renewal. "Stay" and "Together or Apart" detail the pain and pleasure of relationships, while "Don't You Give Up On Me" is a spiritualized self-pep talk, urging those around her: "Don't you give up on me/As I dive into the dark/And slip into the endless sea."