When Liza Victoria repeats the lyric "you know I've walked down dark alleys" throughout the opening track of her new album, it sounds like a line taken from a diary - a reflection on the presence of chronic illness in the singer-songwriter's life. But as the title Shelter of a Song suggests, music can provide respite, and in her case, it did. Over the past two years as Victoria crafted these eight tracks, then recorded them live in her kitchen-turned-studio, she noticed that her creative process coincided with her strongest moments of healing. She explains that in this way, music has been a comfort to her, and her hope is that the listener can find personal meaning in her creations. Perhaps even shelter.
While Lisa/Liza oscillates toward acoustic on Shelter of a Song, shifting away from the electric found on her stunning 2018 release, Momentary Glance, parallels exist between the two albums. Both dropped late in the fall season, and the feel of Victoria's strumming and hushed vocals is reminiscent of leafless trees, stark against the sky. The two albums, while deeply introspective, also turn outward to the flora and fauna natural world - scenes you might see on midday walks. But Shelter of a Song is raw, and like another recently-released album, there exists an unparalleled beauty in this close exposure. Though comparisons can be made with Lenker, Jessica Pratt, or even Liz Harris' early work, Victoria constructs songs like no other. Her chord progressions and song structures are so distinctly unique to her - as if she is wandering unhurried in open space, letting the melody of each composition guide her. The act of simply listening to Lisa/Liza's music apart from close examination and analysis is just so calming and meditative, which might just be her intention. As the songs centered her, they might do the same for us.
Shelter of a Song is out this Friday through Orindal, you can purchase it here, and check out a preview track below. As an added bonus, all digital presale funds will be donated to two organizations: Our Family Farm' "Farmworker Housing Fund" and Therapy for Black Girls.