Cayamo has introduced the Ironbath to some fantastic artists over the last 5 years. Some have gone on to greatness and world-wide recognition (well almost) others have unfortunately faded away. Lissie was a fabulous find in 2010. From the first listen to her debut EP ‘Why You Runnin” we knew that she was something special. But seeing her perform live solo on Cayamo whilst she belted out tremendous vocals from only a few feet away – well that was something else. Something very special that we knew would be a once in a lifetime experience.
There is a pattern where American musicians who don’t fit neatly in US radio categories are often brought to the UK to break them before they crack their home market. Lissie was one of those and spent most of the rest of 2010 living in the UK touring and heavily promoting her first full CD ‘Catching A Tiger’. It was a success of sorts. It peaked at #12 in the UK charts, got ‘A’ list rotation on BBC Radio 2 and earnt Song of the Year and Newcomer of the Year awards from iTunes UK and a nomination for Newcomer of the Year from Q Magazine (the UK equivalent to Paste). She was also the summer hit at many music festivals across UK and Europe. Despite this the singles did not break the UK Top 40 which lost her sales momentum.
The Ironbath is not sure whether Sony, her major label backer in the UK, will think that Lissie was successful enough to justify their backing. And this might be a good thing. In the US she is distributed via Fat Possum Records which seems like a more natural home. The Ironbath feels that Lissie would prefer to do things her way. There is no evidence that Sony intervened creatively but perhaps she’d feel more relaxed, create better music and develop a longer career if she moved to an independent label.
In each show Lissie has developed a thing of including a cover version often from an alternative genre. Her ‘Pursuit Of Happiness’ (Kid Cudi) and ‘Bad Romance’ (Lady GaGa) became YouTube sensations. Fat Possum are releasing an EP of these songs together with her cover of Metallica’s ‘Nothing Else Matters’, ‘Games People Play’ (Joe South) and ‘The Ship Song’ (Nick Cave).
Direct Current have a couple of tracks and a series of her videos:
Given the prevalence of her cover versions on YouTube – professionally recorded and issued through her own account – It is a surprise that they’ve thought it worthwhile to release an EP.
Lissie is simultaneously releasing a CD-DVD double disc on her own website of a 13 track live album recorded in London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire last December. Another strange release decision since she gave away a 4 track EP of songs from this recording through a newspaper. That included a wonderful version of The Pretenders Christmas song ‘2,000 Miles’ that isn’t included on the new CD. You can download a copy HERE.