Lissie is between engagements, using her mobile phone to conduct interviews. Weaving her way through the London traffic, the Illinois-born, California-based artist seems to connect commonalities, construct parallels between the UK and the West Coast. Namely: the weather.
“I’m so happy for all of you!” she beams. “I know that the past couple of years you didn’t get a proper summer, and I hear it’s a good one. I live in California and it’s always nice there, so when I do come here and it’s a little rainy I kind of don’t mind the change. It seems as though everyone’s really loving it, so it’s fun to walk around the city and see how the weather effects people’s attitudes and how happy and excited they seem.”
It’s perhaps telling that Lissie is able to detect the shifting moods and atmospheres of dear ol’ Blighty. Rooted in Americana, her music has almost made a bigger dent in the British consciousness than her homeland, with fans on this side of the Atlantic swooning to her sand dune voice and fresh lemonade songwriting. “I’m quite straight forward in what I do, I mean I’m vulnerable but passionate and I’m also strong at the same time” she explains. “I think that’s very humanising and approachable and I think that’s universal and I don’t think that’s limited to any one part of the world. I just think it’s universal. The things I’m singing about are things which everyone can relate to, I think”.
New single ‘Further Away (Romance Police)’ is a case in point. Reflective, poignant meditations on her first experience of heartbreak, of disappointment in love, it comes equipped with a video which is both visually entrancing an entirely logical. Teaming up with director Ben Chappell, the pair returned to their hometown of Rock Island for some genuine soul searching. “It feels nice to be able to shoot there because the best way to let people get to know me and who I am would be to go back to my roots, to the place which made me who I am” she says. “See the environment I grew up in, which is just a typical Mid-West experience but to other people who live in other parts of the world it might seem different. I wanted to share that.”
The shoot itself was remarkably simple. “There was no budget, we just went and did it. I’m so glad we did” she enthuses. “We spent the day and night wandering around. A friend of mine who was a police officer took us out to this field and it was raining, so he turned on his cop lights and that was how we had lighting for the night time. It was the police lights. It was a really DIY kind of thing. The weather was perfect because it never rained hard but there was actually a double rainbow. It ended up being perfect lighting, perfect weather for a video”.
“I’m a really, really sappy, sentimental person. It’s like everything is a memory for me. I think because I don’t live there its more meaningful to me than my friends who live there all the time. Every time I go home I’ll take out a bike and go for a bike ride, I like to go back to some of the places that I have memories at. It’s always a constant process for me, re-visiting and remembering experiences that I’ve had. I’m an artist, I’m sappy like that.”
Lissie's new single 'Further way (Romance Police)' is out now.
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