Lizanne Richards
Self Titled Debut Album
Available Here

A worldly soul with an unusual childhood, Lizanne Richards grew up with missionary parents on the edge of the Sahara in Niger, Africa. Lizanne fondly recalls joining local women at church to help sing gospel songs and play traditional clay drum rhythms as accompaniment.

Living in the UK for a few years teaching wise-cracking London kids required the cultivation of a thick skin and led to music opportunities. She played violin in a Glasgow-based outfit Oldsolar and got her first taste of being in a band, recording and performing. Most notably, Oldsolar played a support gig for The Reindeer Section, a coming together of musicians from Snow Patrol, Arab Strap and others for a Christmas fundraiser gig to purchase sleeping bags for homeless people. This first band experience gave Lizanne a thirst to head her own music project.

On returning to Melbourne Lizanne sought out double bass player Andy Ross and recorded a demo of her jazz and blues-inspired folk songs with Johnny Hi-Fi. The demo got distributed amongst friends and led to the formation of Lady Grey. Lady Grey's self-titled first e.p. placed them in the 2006 PBS FM Festival of Song Competition in which Lady Grey became a grand finalist. Lizanne continued writing songs and penned Of Wifely Constitution which went on to win the Good Folk Club Song Competition in 2007. The prizes assisted in the recording of Lady Grey's second e.p., Of Wifely Constitution. This was released independently in 2008.

The importance of a good marriage between producer and artist was a defining realisation, leading Lizanne to be on the lookout for a producer sympathetic to her songs. In 2011, Push Songs selected Lizanne for a song writing mentorship which consisted of three sessions with established artists. When she independently asked each mentor if they could recommend a producer for her debut solo album, the answer each time was, "Shane O'Mara." Highly aware of his work on albums by The Audreys, Tim Rogers and Lisa Miller, Lizanne sought his expertise and after some toing and froing of emails and demo tracks the process began.

The result is a self-titled debut album heralding an exciting new direction for Lizanne Richards. Her bluesy rhythmic alt-folk songs sparkle, and are delivered with intensity and soul. Ralf Rehak's (Machine Translations) foundational percussion is snappy and murky all at once. Lizanne's own contributions are part Feist, part Gillian Welch, part Portishead, inhabiting complex yet somehow spacious liminalities of both style and emotion. Her harmonies, for example, clearly scale the walls of conventional folk cadence, yet there is more than a hint here of Nordic discordance. To all this, Shane O'Mara contributes the expansive production intelligence of a T-Bone Burnett or Daniel Lanois. Most captivating about the listening experience is the distinctiveness and quality of the songs themselves.

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