Brooklyn singer/songwriter Lizzie No announces the January 19 release of her new album Halfsies via Thirty Tigers / Miss Freedomland. Along with the announcement, she also shares the album’s debut single “Lagunita” featuring Kill Rock Stars recording artist Brian Dunne. With a driving, four-on-the-floor beat, the track reflects the frantic energy of a character and a country gone off the rails, setting the scene for the album’s apocalyptic journey from exile to liberation.
Lizzie No on the new single: “If you want to be great, you have to insist upon it. If you want mercy you must grab it with both hands. If you want to take your street race to outer space and win, you need the patron saint of charming underdogs, Brian Dunne, in the passenger seat. Don’t pull your punches when you meet god in the desert after dark. If your life has turned into a car wreck, honk the horn until you get free. Miss Freedomland wrestled self hatred and violent men and alcohol for fifteen years but never gave up hope of being blessed. Nobody scares her any more.”
In addition to Brian Dunne, Halfsies also features guest vocals from Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Allison Russell, as well as strings from members of the Grammy-winning group Attaca Quartet. Lizzie No’s beautifully intricate songwriting shines across these twelve songs, with the personal and political folding into each other as naturally as her patchwork of influences. The album serves as a living conversation between No’s musical and literary inspirations, reflecting her reverence for the great voices who came before her, from Lucinda Williams to Toni Morrison, and her search for a connection between them.
A fully immersive listening experience, Halfsies joins Miss Freedomland (a character that represents both No herself and her audience) on a search for freedom from the depths of despair in an increasingly violent and nightmarish American landscape. “Some albums are stories, some are films. This album is a video game,” explains No. “If you’re in these songs with me, what seems at first like a journey of self-analysis becomes a journey to get free, and get your people free, as well.” She continues, “The album begins with a kind of isolation that seems impossible to break free from, but as Miss Freedomland moves through the levels, I wanted to surround her with community, whether spiritual or corporeal.”
The exploration of the relationship between individuality and belonging that informs Halfsies likewise informs No’s work as co-host of the Basic Folk podcast, where she has interviewed artists from Ben Harper to Valerie June to Kishi Bashi. Halfsies follows a dizzying five year span that saw the release of two stunning, eclectic albums, Hard Won and Vanity, which garnered No’s own acclaim from the likes of Billboard, NPR Music, Paste and Rolling Stone. Finding herself at the forefront of a new vanguard of genre-defying artists, Lizzie No has toured with Iron & Wine, Son Little and Adia Victoria, and collaborated with Pom Pom Squad and Domino Kirke, displaying an undeniable indie influence that allows her to move frequently and seamlessly between overlapping musical circles.
Photo Courtesy: Cole Nielsen