LISA RICHARDS RELEASES SIXTH STUDIO ALBUM
A LIGHT FROM THE OTHER SIDE OUT SEPTEMBER 23
Lisa Richards’ forthcoming album titled A Light From The Other Side marks Richards’ return to Australia after 22 years residing in the United States. With subtle humor, sharp observations and a ferociously sweet voice, Lisa Richards explores the complexities of life through a flowing mix of folk, blues, roots and jazz.
Lisa Richards has had quite an illustrious musical career. From acapella busking in Kings Cross, living in New York with no legal status for 8 years, learning guitar at 30 out of necessity, co-writing 2 CD’s with Tim Bright (co-wrote the Scrubs theme song) to almost turning down a drink from the senior vice president of Electra Records, it’s easy to see Richards isn’t your regular run-of-the-mill singer-songwriter. With a list of greatest musical influences including Led Zepplin, Leonard Cohen and Edith Piaf, Lisa Richards is undoubtedly a strong and passionate singer, whose songs are never traditional but instantly relatable.
After 5 US studio albums, Richards has returned to Australia to release A Light From The Other Side, an album inspired by the crumbling of her 14-year marriage, or as Richards describes it, “a tsunami of change”. She counts her migration back to Australia as the light at the end of a very dark tunnel. This bittersweet mix of optimistic and languishing emotion shines bright throughout the album.
A Light From The Other Side was recorded with composer, song-writer and producer Greg J. Walker (Paul Kelly, C.W Stoneking). His and Richards musical relationship started how all good modern relationships do; over the internet. “I was surfing around the interweb listening to random tracks and I came across a song by an Australian folksinger and I thought “I love this production. This arrangement, this instrumentation…Who is doing it?” Greg J Walker as it turns out. I saw he was with Mushroom publishing and I thought, “no way I’ll be able to make contact with this guy” but I found a website for his band Machine Translations, and I emailed him with a link to a couple of songs of mine from past CDs. He got back to me pretty quickly and wrote “I love your voice and style, yes we must work together” and so we did.” – Lisa Richards
Lisa Richards was able to experiment with sounds at Walker’s studio in a little country town in Victoria. Lisa played guitar, sang and played a little thumb piano and a toy piano. Greg J Walker was the main instrumentalist, except for horns on 4 of the tracks. Referring to the range of instruments on offer as a “Musical Wonderland”, Richards was able to bring ideas to life as she explains, “I got to say ‘I hear banjo on this song…ooh what about cello or piano accordion?’ Greg is the master of the broken down orchestra. He has all these beautifully ragged rescued instruments that he coaxes into life, like Gladys the piano who only has some keys that are tuneful no matter how hard he tries to tune it. The inside string section of a grand piano lies on the floor and he plays it kind of by bowing the strings with another wire string, hammer dulcimer, toy piano, thumb piano, violin, a 4 string cello.”
The daughter of a concert pianist who forbade the playing of instruments, Lisa has a life story that could easily grace the silver screen. From busking in Kings Cross to hanging out with Debbie Harry at SXSW and playing CBGB’s Lisa has experienced all of the happiness and misfortune life has to offer.
Lisa Richards’ sixth studio album A Light From The Other Side releases September 23.
TRACK BY TRACK
The only older song on the CD. I wrote this song before my last CD “Beating of the Sun” but it didn’t make it onto the last one. People seem to like it a lot so I put it on this one
Water (Needs To Fall):
I also wrote this one in New York City. My Austin life was hit by a tsunami of change over which I had absolutely no control. I had to go underground, to keep safe, I was ‘between lives’ as it were, being carried by the love and kindness of my friends who fed me and sheltered me and kept me safe. This song arose out of that space. A song about soldiers, war, regrets, being lost and human kindness and the need we have for each other.
Milk and Honey:
The song I wrote about meeting my husband Greg in Australia at a café in Canberra called Milk and Honey that is sadly no longer around.
came out of a post I put on Facebook in January. I was in the middle of a bad virus cold thing and pretty miserable and I got a bad case of the “Can I just skip January altogether?” So I posted that I was in the Mire of January and I wanted to sleep for a thousand years. My singer friend Christine Collister said “There’s a song in that and you need to write it” and so I did.
You Got The Power:
Over Christmas I did a song a day challenge and I asked my people community on Facebook to suggest topics for me to write about. My sister-in-law Liz suggested Bullying and that’s where the song ‘Power’ came from.
I am now a step-mum to 2 lovely teenagers (seriously they are lovely!) and I was thinking about how fast kids grow up and how parents have this unbreakable thread tying them to their children.
The story of leaving a marriage. How do you leave a marriage? That moment when you know it's over and you determinedly step away from a union.
I wrote in New York City in the kitchen of my friend Irene’s 5th floor walk up apartment on East 4th and Avenue B (believe it or not), but I was thinking about the most recent Brisbane floods. I was thinking about how as humans we struggle so hard try to control our environment. The weather is a big powerful force that we do NOT control.
Where My Heart Used To Be:
I wrote this one in Australia. It’s funny how heartache can co-exist with great happiness and for me this is a familiar state. Life is complicated. People are complicated and ultimately life and love are temporary and transient.
What Lying Does:
Pretty explanatory really… people lie for all kinds of reasons. The most common one I’ve heard for it is “I didn’t want to hurt you by telling you the truth” which is the most messed up reasoning I have EVER heard.
Friends Out of Strangers:
Inspired by the solo tours I’ve done in Europe and yes…heartbreak and the kindness of people.
“Singer Songwriter from FNQ returns to Australia after 22 years in Austin and New York to make her best album. ”
“"Within its confines lies heartfelt emotion combined with exemplary musicianship which creates a truly stunning piece of narrative art" - Rhythms Magazine ”