Last year, Lisel – a.k.a. avant-pop singer, producer, multi-instrumentalist and artist Eliza Bagg – released her remarkable self-produced solo debut, Angels on the Slope, via Luminelle. Earlier this year, she released a double-single in collaboration with Angel Olsen-producer Ben Babbitt, and today she follows it up with another 7-inch announcement, this time in collaboration with Jarvis Taveniere of Woods and Purple Mountains. Pre-order the double-single, out digitally on August 18th, HERE.
“Despite opposite musical backgrounds and what felt like divergent musical tastes and sensibilities, the desire to collaborate came out of an unlikely and deep friendship that formed as newly acquainted roommates living in Los Angeles,” Lisel explains of her collaboration with Taveniere. The two entered their own respective isolations earlier this year, but continued collaborating. “Despite the distance, it was an involved, intimate, and radically honest way to bring together our aesthetic languages into these two songs.” Taveniere is also responsible for the cover artwork, a photograph of Bagg taken over a year ago in Griffith Park.
“Night & Day,” the 7-inch’s title track and a-side, is out now. Lisel explains, “‘Night & Day’ is a song about impermanence and change, specifically emotional change — that the things that infatuate, fulfill, haunt, and obsess your heart and mind in one part of your life can over time become simply incidental, afterthoughts.” The song is accompanied by a music video that embraces the limited resources and occasionally ensuing absurdity of life in quarantine. The video was directed and edited by Bagg while her boyfriend filmed it on his iPhone 11 at his bagel shop. Lisel explains, “I decided to lean into the makeshift, DIY nature of how we’re all making art during this time and to embrace the “behind the scenes show-within-a-show” vibe, landing somewhere between the glossy hifi cooking show the Lisel character wants it to be, and the shoddy, slightly perverse, eccentric reality of where we are.”
“I’ve felt liberated during quarantine by the fact that our hands are being forced by our lack of normal access to resources of all kinds, liberated by the idea that things have to look or sound a certain way in order to be good,” Lisel explains further. “I like that the video communicates that it knows what it is, it understands its low budget reality. Sometimes you see the clip lights or the way the cloth hangs on the stands, and it fits with the coquettish vibe of the video — which is to say: I understand I’m manufacturing my reality and I choose to live in it anyway. “
Drawing on her vast areas of expertise to create an other-wordly landscape where one wanders between the gauzy and ethereal and distorted, beat-driven pop, Lisel crafted her singular debut Angels on the Slope, and released it in 2019. Along with her own work, Bagg has collaborated across genres with a range of prominent experimental artists — performing in Meredith Monk’s wordless epic opera Atlas, singing vocal quartets with Julianna Barwick, touring with Roomful of Teeth, making dadaist sound art at Redcat, and singing in a minimalist horror opera directed by Tony-award winner Daniel Fish. Her work as a classical vocalist has taken her around the world, singing as a soloist with orchestras like the New York Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and collaborating closely with musicians like John Zorn, Caroline Shaw, Ben Frost, Nico Muhly, and Helado Negro. With fluency in multiple musical languages, Bagg draws on Renaissance and Baroque singing styles along with her work in modern dance and experimental theater while developing her own distinctive pop idiom.