A LIGHT FROM THE OTHER SIDE REVIEWS

Lisa Richards’s voice is delightfully unusual. At first it is jarring, piercing against the otherwise dulcet jazz, folk and bluesy feel emanating from her music, but slowly the timbre reveals its delicate duplicity. On the one hand Richards sounds like a sweet young girl who is trying to find her place in the world. On the other, she sounds commanding and confident. It makes for truly stimulating listening...Richards is a simple yet powerful songwriter who has beautifully encapsulated the intricacies of the human condition.

Emily Ritchie   The Australian (complete review)

What emerged from these sessions was an album that is as diverse as it is personal. From stories about her teenage step kids to rediscovering her life in Australia the only thing that stays consistent is the heartfelt emotion instilled in Richard’s fiercely unique voice.

A powerful story is invaluable to successful song writing and this is none more evident than in ‘A Light From the Other Side’. Within its confines lies heartfelt emotion combined with exemplary musicianship which creates a truly stunning piece of narrative art.

- Rhythms Magazine 

Rhythms Magazine (complete review)

"Singer Songwriter from FNQ returns to Australia after 22 years in Austin and New York to make her best album.."
Lucky Oceans "The Daily Planet " Radio National (complete radio show and transcript)
"Lisa Richards has one of the most amazing voices AND stories AAA has ever heard. "

AAA Backstage (complete interview)

 
......"she moved back to Australia and has recorded a breathtaking album with legendary producer/multi-instrumentalist Greg J Walker."

 Jamie Apps​ ALTMedia.net.au (complete article)

Beating of the Sun - New Reviews

 For Full Reviews. Click on Links. 

LISA RICHARDS 

Beating of the Sun 

(Independent) **** SOME voices pierce your heart. 

“Townsville-born Lisa Richards has an idiosyncratic wail that is girlish and fragile yet fierce and direct. Richards, who is back in Australia after 20 years in the US, recorded this, her fifth album, in Austin, Texas. It is a tour de force of unflinching and honest writing with arresting arrangements based on folk, blues and European chanson styles. The ominous First Sin and harrowing Into Graves are poetic observations of the dehumanising nightmare of the Holocaust and the terrible compromises people made to survive. In the pulsating title track featuring a simple blues riff and trudging rhythm, Richards describes walking into a heatwave to ‘‘melt the grief still clinging to my bones’’. Richards’ vocals and acoustic guitar drive proceedings. When drums, organ, upright bass, cello, accordion and organ are added, it makes for a strikingly original and beautiful album.”     David Costello –  Brisbane Courier Mail     Saturday May 5th 2013 

 “Lisa Richards’ fifth release is an absolutely riveting piece. Her lyrics are well crafted and insightful, allowing you to dive inside her thoughts and envision everything she has. Exploring a variety of subject angles throughout this collection, Richards stellar second track in particular titled What Love Looks, is a beautifully soft outsiders perspective of love. Other notable songs include the sultry and slightly funky title track, Beating of The Sun, and the very moving Holocaust-inspired fourth track First Sin. Take a dive into this album, it’s well worth it! (CD)”     Chelsea Deeley    www.altmedia.net.au 

Each song defining and bold enough to stand on its own, together tell a touching story of loss, grief, and growth. Breathtakingly beautiful, the album is a joy to listen to, and Richards a pleasure to journey with. Hannah Teape Davis  tone-deaf.com.au 

This is a really good album, original, thoughtful and very beautiful – a grower, if ever there was one.  John Davy No Depression 

Lisa Richards is an artist in full command of her voice and carriage, a performer working in service of the tune to communicate deeper truth. Beating of the Sun is a groovy, wistful, sensitive, smart record and Richards is an extraordinary talent.  Jordan Richardson Somethingelsereviews 

Blessed with a strikingly girlish, yet strong and compelling voice, a fine eye for telling minute details, and an equally sturdy grasp of harmonic country-flavored folk-pop, singer/songwriter Lisa Richards carves out her own touching and fascinating corner of the musical universe on her latest album. There’s an astounding individuality not only to Richards’ uniquely sweet and tremulous vocals, but also in her concise and thoughtful songwriting. The trudging tempos and relaxed, yet steady beats give the music a downright magnetic pull. However, it’s the way Richards addresses life’s most testing hardships in a brave and direct manner that makes this extraordinary album so poignant and resonant.  Jerseybeat 

Texan-based, Queensland (Australia) born and one time New York resident Lisa Richards combines numerous hues to her singer-songwriter base. As folk, jazz, country and mystic pop are entwined —like honeysuckle on the vine they are entangled. Richard’s articulate artful writing coupled with her singing ability, she is after all a voice teacher to ride alongside and on top of the instruments used makes her a hypnotic to the point seductive. Her creativeness ensures the album is never less than interesting. Her wistful, whimsical tones peek on the pop jazz inclined ‘The Painful Game’, ‘Beating Of The Sun’ and ‘Open’ plus the National steel guitar warmed ‘Every Star’. Richards’ link to jazz and such stylists as Billie Holliday and those of an older generation can also be heard on ‘First Sin’. http://flyinshoes.ning.com

MAD MAD LOVE – Reviews

Austin Chronicle Review Feb 23rd, 2007 
Thursday, 01 March 2007 
Richards wrote 10 of the dozen songs on her local debut CD, Mad Mad Love, a charming grab bag of folky pop that turns on a dime to bluesy rock enhanced by the tough sweetness of her voice. 

Margaret Moser 
Affecting and Beautiful 
Friday, 09 February 2009 

“A collection of affecting and beautiful tracks sung by Richards in such a way as to grant them immediate passage to your Psyche. Richards has a remarkable voice that is as powerful as it is haunting, as evocative as it is memorable. This CD has been a long time coming-may it now get the recognition it deserves.“ 

Impress Magazine 
Incomparable and Stunning 
Friday, 09 February 2009 

“One might think that an album of 18 songs lasting nearly 70 minutes from an unknown artist might be a little too much in one sitting, but there is so much persity here and Lisa has such an incomparable and stunning voice that it makes a compelling listen from start to finish” 

www.pennyblackmusic.com 

Americana UK 2009 Friday, 25 July 2009 Lisa Richards “Mad Mad Love” (Independent 2009) Americana UK review 

Mad Mad Mad for it! 

Lisa Richards was raised on the tropical north Eastern Coast of Australia – as the youngest of seven children she absorbed the sounds of her mother’s talent as a gifted, classically trained pianist. The house was filled with music, but tragedy struck when Lisa was seven years old when her mother was seriously hurt in a car accident. Listening to this record you can hear where Richards has pushed herself to follow in her mum’s footsteps. 

Richards began performing on the streets in Australia in the less salubrious areas of Sydney, built up a healthy fan base and in the early 90s moved to New York – playing many famous venues her reputation has grown and she has now moved to Austin. 

For this record, her fourth release, some fine musicians contribute throughout; the opening song ‘Bloom’ clearly shows that Richards can write songs with strong melodies and thoughtful lyrics. Next up is a fine cover of Lou Reed’s ‘Satellites’. The song writing throughout is of the top order and the title track is a clear demonstration of Richards’ song writing strengths. 

This is a superb collection of songs and if you have any Lucinda Williams, Rosie Thomas or Mary Chapin Carpenter records in your collection then this record is for you. 

Sound Untouched by Major Label Dollars 
Friday, 09 February 2007  
Austin American Statesman 

“this new Austin resident (from Australia via New York City) creates an evocative mood piece on her fourth album. Recorded in Brooklyn, N.Y., with Tim Bright and in Austin with Craig Ross, ‘Mad Mad Love’ sounds immaculately conceived, a big production sound untouched by major label dollars. The merger of Lou Reed’s ‘Satellite Of Love’ into the title track is especially exquisite.” Her cover of the blues number ‘Rags and Old Iron’ makes complete sense, draining the down and dirty out of the ditty with her pristine pipes. If you’ve become a fan of Corrine Bailey Rae and want a slice of that sweet, slinky soul a little closer to home, try out this one at the listening station.” -Michael Corcoran

European Press 
Altcountrynl review (Dutch)  
Friday, 25 July 2008 
http://www.altcountry.nl 

Ze vertoeft al enige tijd in Austin, Lisa Richards. Een jongedame met haar roots in Australië, maar die haar geboorteland ruim tien jaar geleden de rug toekeerde….. Ze heeft ook al enige cd’s op haar conto staan, en Mad Mad Love dateert van vorig jaar. Is dus even blijven liggen, doch Mad Mad Love verdient het niet om onbesproken te blijven, vandaar alsnog de verdiende aandacht. Richards’ stem, tja, dat is even wennen. Ze kan er veel mee, dat wel, maar neigt wel wat te veel naar het kinderlijke; je moet er van houden. Maar goed, na wat draaitijd blijkt dat smetje overkomelijk, en dus niet echt storend. Op de overige beoordelingscriteria scoort Lisa Richards namelijk zeker bovengemiddeld. De keuze van de covers –twee stuks- past bijvoorbeeld verrassend goed, want Lou Reed’s Satellite Of Love en Nina Simone’s Rags & Old Ion kregen een prima bewerking. En, met het overige materiaal –of van eigen hand of geschreven in coöperatie met gitarist Tim Bright- is eveneens weinig mis. Opener Bloom is al direct een plus, terwijl de genoemde Reed- cover eenzelfde kwalificatie verdient. Omdat de verdere songs, vaak met een pop- randje, dus ook verre van verkeerd klinken, kan gesteld worden dat Mad Mad Love tijdens de drukke decemberperiode te lang ter beoordeling op de plank is blijven liggen. Zingen kan ze, een eenvoudige, doch pakkend song schrijven ook. Haar begeleiders –met manlief Jeff May op bas- kwijten zich dan ook nog eens gedegen van hun taak. Gewoon een goede, sfeervolle plaat, deze vierde van Lisa Richards. (Leo Kattestaart) 

Mazzmusikas Review 2007 (Dutch and English)  
Friday, 25 July 2008 

!!! MAZZMUSIKAS HATS OFF: ALL HITS, NO MISSES !!! Lisa Richards / Mad Mad Love / Eigen Beheer LR004 (www.lisarichardsmusic.com) Het is al langer bekend: Austin heeft iets dat geen enkele andere stad ter wereld lijkt te hebben. Wat het precies is, daar is nog niemand echt achter gekomen…… Wat er het gevolg van is, daar zijn we ’t met zijn allen over eens: Austin heeft het grootste aantal singer-songwriters per vierkante kilometer. Dat is leuk: het scherpt de competitie tussen de dames en heren onderling aan en het brengt met zich, dat ze allemaal hun uiterste best doen om hun eigen stad en de rest van de wereld te laten vallen voor hun muziek. Tegelijk zit er ook een gevaar aan: luisteraars raken al snel verzadigd en willen wel eens de reactie hebben van ‘Weer eentje uit Austin? OK…en?’. Als dit gevoel ons al ooit mocht bekropen hebben, dan was dat allerminst het geval toen we deze cd van Lisa Richards binnen kregen. Lisa groeide op aan de Australische noordoostkust, verkaste in de prille jaren ’90 van vorige eeuw naar New York en belandde in Austin om er op SXSW te spelen. Dat deed ze en ze deed zelfs meer: ze liep er Jeff May tegen het lijf. Zes maand later waren ze getrouwd. Vandaag is Lisa aan haar vierde plaat toe, ze haalde eerder dit jaar de finales zowel op Telluride als op Kerville en ze pakte ondergetekende volledig in met haar prachtige stem en haar simpele liedjes. Denk aan een kruising tussen Suzanne Vega, Cassandra Wilson en Patty Griffin en je komt aardig in de buurt van wat Lisa doet. Haar songs zijn, zoals dat hoort, kleine observaties over ’s mensen gedrag en worden hier meer dan vakkundig van schakeringen en kleuren voorzien door topmuzikanten als John Deley (die we kennen van bij Dido), Dan Rieser (Norah’s drummer en één van de Little Willies) en Craig Ross, de rechterhand van Patty Griffin. Tien eigen songs en twee covers, dat is de vangst voor wie deze cd in huis haalt. De eigen songs zijn verrassend in hun valse eenvoud: je kunt ze haast bijna onmiddellijk mee neuriën, maar elke keer dat je luistert, ontdek je weer een nieuw loopje of een detail dat je eerder ontgaan was. Whose Chain, onze absolute favoriet van de plaat is er zo eentje: keer op keer worden we verrast door alweer een detail, een schakering, een ritmebreak, waar we nog geen oor naar gehad hadden. De covers liggen allerminst voor de hand, maar zijn beide erg geslaagd: Lou Reeds Satellite Of Love en Nina Simones Rags & Old Iron horen zeker bij de hoogtepunten van een overigens zo goed als vlekkeloze plaat. Ik denk zo dat we er een opdracht bij hebben: dringend op zoek naar het vroegere werk van deze dame, die ooit heel groot gaat worden. (DH) 

moorsmagazine (Dutch) 
http://www.moorsmagazine.com/muziekbak/lisarichards.html  
Fri, 19 Jan 2007 

Lisa Richards heeft een opmerkelijke stem die sommige mensen af zou kunnen schrikken…. Ik moet eerlijk bekennen dat ik er ook erg aan moest wennen. Je denkt eerst met een vervelend kindvrouwtje te maken te hebben, maar de doorwrochte, volle arrangementen zorgen ervoor dat je toch wat beter gaat luisteren, en dan blijkt Richards niet alleen prachtige liedjes te schrijven maar ze ook nog eens fenomenaal mooi uit te voeren.En als je eenmaal aan die merkwaardige, expressieve stem gewend bent geraakt ga je er zelfs van houden, want Richards weet je met haar fabelachtige fasering en articulatie ook echt tot luisteren te brengen. En ze klinkt uniek, dat moet gezegd. Richards is een Australische songwriter die op dit moment vanuit Austin, Texas opereert. De muziek is nog het beste te omschrijven als avontuurlijke folk, met flink wat jazz, rock, country en blues er doorheen geroerd.Mad Mad Love is de vierde cd die deze dame in eigen beheer uitbrengt, en ze heeft er een paar zeer uitstekende muzikanten voor bij elkaar weten te krijgen, waaronder de soepele maar strakke drummer Dan Rieser (die we kennen van The Little Willies en Norah Jones) en gitarist Billy Masters (die ondermeer ook al speelde met Suzanne Vega en Dar Williams). Na een aantal keren luisteren begrijp je ook dat ze soms een “singer’s singer” wordt genoemd. 

Mad Mad Love Reviewed on Penny Black Music 
Reviewed by: Malcolm Carter 
Label: Lisa RichardsFormat: CD 
From: Penny Black Music 

Australian Lisa Richards (now based in Austin, Texas) has chosen no less than four different producers to record this, her fourth CD. That so many different producers are involved could have been a disaster. The album could have been all over the place but thankfully Tim Bright, who produces the bulk of the album, along with Craig Reed, Billy Masters and Jeff May have all captured the beauty in Lisa’s vocals and the album actually benefits from having more than one producer. Billy Masters captures a different Lisa than Tim Bright for example. 

Lisa wrote or co-wrote with Tim Bright ten of the twelve songs here. The two covers are ‘Rags And Old Iron’ and ‘Satellite Of Love’ the Lou Reed song. Now Lisa, it must be said, has one of those voices you are either going to love or hate. It’s practically impossible to compare her to any other female singer which is no bad thing; to have such a unique vocal style is rare these days. By turns sweet and tough we can hear many female singers in her vocals but just can’t pin it down to anyone in particular. Lisa sings like Lisa Richards. It’s as simple as that. 

For some reason I can’t explain I expected Lisa to have folk leanings and while the odd song or two could be slotted loosely into that genre, much like her vocals finding a pigeonhole for the music Lisa makes is not easy. There are jazz, blues, country and pop flavourings to these songs and Lisa flits from one to the other with ease. It’s going to take a better man than this to nail this singer to any genre. 

The opening song, ‘Bloom’ is a summery slice of pop with a soulful edge due to Lisa’s expressive vocals and it’s probably this song more than any other on this album that will divide those who love or loathe Lisa’s vocals. For me it shows that here is a singer who is like no other, who is making her own way and who has one of the most distinctive voices in music today. 

In some ways it was an obvious choice to cover Reed’s ‘Satellite Of Love., One of his prettiest songs is given an even more delicate reading in Lisa’s hands and if one song here shows her vocal skills then it is this cover. She really does make a beautiful version of this song. And while we are on the subject of cover versions then ‘Rags And Old Iron’ which is probably best known by the Nina Simone version shows another side to Lisa’s vocal prowess, so much so that it could almost be another singer; this time all the delicate beauty in those vocals is replaced by a bluesy swagger. With a brilliant production and stunning guitar work by Tim Bright this really is a highlight of the album and one can’t help but wonder how a singer can change her style of singing with such ease and get away with it. 

But Lisa shows that she can also write the blues herself as the following song, ‘Daddy Please’ again produced by Bright follows in the same vein as ‘Rags And Old Iron’. The song after that, ‘Portrait Of A Lover’, another Lisa composition produced by Billy Masters, shows Lisa adapting a more laid-back jazz style. The most amazing thing about this album, apart from those stunning, unique vocals is that Lisa never makes the same song twice; she straddles so many different genres and takes on, and wins, so many vocal challenges that it is truly breathtaking that one singer/songwriter can cover so much ground over twelve songs. 

Lisa Richards is a major talent of that there is no doubt and with ‘Mad Mad Love’ she has proven that in 2007 there are few who even come close to her vocally.