Liza Anne: A ‘Woman at Her Wildest Self’

By Cory Weaver

There’s something about the Duck Room at Blueberry Hill that makes a singer-songwriter’s storytelling a little more profound, the gut punch to the soul a little more realistic, the audience’s vulnerability a little more palpable. Maybe it’s the Duck Room’s milieu—a venue that takes you back to your grandparents’ basement.

 

Whatever it is, Liza Anne grabbed that sentimental side of the intimate crowd Sunday night and shined a spotlight into her world of heartbreak, ultimatums, depression and panic attacks. At 23, she’s already at the top of her game—she commanded the stage with her backing band of dudes clad in maroon, cargo-style canvas chef’s clothing, complete with last names embroidered onto their coat lapels.

 

This being the last stop on the first leg of her 2018 tour, she wasted no time, opening with “Paranoia,” the lead track off of her new album, Fine But Dying. It’s unapologetically hard hitting—a diversion from her previous album, Two. Instead of letting her Panic disorder define her, she’s defined it, embraced it even.

 

Never mind how I'm keeping / As of right now, I'm losing it as if I had it in the first place / Running water in the bathroom / It's 3 AM and I can't sleep, I don't even recognize me

 

There was a lot of Jeff Buckley meets Courtney Barnett with St. Vincent-esque seething guitar riff moments that surfaced throughout the show, mostly from, Fine But Dying. Liza went on to showcase more insight into her life of battling depression and panic disorder with “Panic Attack,” the third track off the album.

 

My words disappear on a dry tongue / And I am trying to let you know it / But I am drowning by the moment / I guess I've been having trouble sleeping / But now I'm having trouble breathing / And I hate that I can be seen like this

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“I decided to basically just sit across the table from my panic disorder and depression and try and put it to words,” she’s proclaimed. One couldn’t help but to feel that it was a voyeuristic experience as she sang about these deeply personal battles while making random piercing eye contact with fans throughout the room.

After a few more rockin’ tunes like the punch you in-the-teeth, gritty angst-filled anthem “Kid Gloves,” she went on to pay tribute to a major influencer of her music, the Cranberries, with a delicate cover of “Dreams.”

 

With the self-proclaimed melancholy settling in, her band vacated the stage leaving the stage bare for Liza to feature two acoustic tunes before having the band return to the stage for “Get By,” an indie-pop ballad perfect for an old-fashioned break-up tape.

 

Canadian powerhouse indie label Arts & Crafts Records have something special with Liza Anne. Known for its incredible lineup that includes Feist, In The Valley Below, Moby, Ra Ra Riot, Tricky, Washed Out and Broken Social Scene, Liza Anne seems poised to rise to the top of the ranks.

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All Photos © Cory Weaver/CMW PhotographyBands Through Town • Unless noted