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Standout track ‘The Sky is Falling’ should be more than a footnote in the Great American Songbook.
Liz & The Lovelies debut EP, Progress Into Simplicity, opens with the haunting, a cappella “The Same,” a brave move that puts band leader Liz Chidester’s voice front and center. The following track, “The Sky is Falling,” is a wonderful contrast to “The Same”; baroque flourishes hint at a band with classical music chops and an ear for contemporary indie/avant garde songwriting. “What You’re Told” reaches back to the English folk sound of the late 60s/early 70s (Fairport Convention, Nick Drake) and benefits from dual vocals (Liz and her brother Alex Chidester) and lilting mandolin courtesy of Brian Powers. “Candid Dance,” like the opening track, is both sparse (at least initially) and bold: angelic vocals and plucked strings give way to noisy synthesizer, percolating bass and skittery drums. The EP’s title track is saved for last and it’s a real gem; a smart, soulful dance pop number that recalls Everything But the Girl.
Liz Chidester is one gifted and talented storyteller with depth and layers found within each story she tells. She uses smooth melodic strings of her guitar and a crisp, soothing and inviting voice to tell them.