Over the course of 3 albums Elizabeth Anne Odachowski AKA Liza Anne has established herself as a powerful voice for the disenfranchised. Taking her cues from the likes of Courtney Barnett and Angel Olsen, Liza Anne weaves complex feelings over simple melodies.
Her 2018 album ‘Fine But Dying’ is her most accomplished effort to date, offering a very personal insight into her mental health, her experience with panic attacks and the constant battle between the happy and sad sides of her personality.
Liza Anne speaks frankly on these subjects and her well documented love-affair with Ireland - see her track Ireland and check out her latest release, a cover version of The Cranberries Dreams (below) for evidence.
Liza Anne returns to her spiritual home for a show in Dublin’s East Side Tavern on October 1st 2018.
<<GP>> The title of your latest album ‘Fine But Dying’ has really resonated with a lot of your fans were you shocked by the response from fans to the themes of mental health issues that permeate the album?
I don't think so. I think everyone is looking into a door of more understanding of their mind and more proof that they aren't crazy or alone - I imagined my album being this door for people and I'm really happy that the response has been so positive. It's flooring to me to imagine that the door I gave myself out of necessity and catharsis is giving people some of the same space. I will never get over that.
<<GP>> The track Panic Attack is the most vivid and forensic exploration of the subject we’ve ever come across. You must suffer from quite bad ones to compose such a song. What’ advice would you give to people who suffer from panic attacks?
Yeah, it's been pretty wild. I think the advice is to find some simple truth that you repeat to yourself in those moments of detachment from your body and the physical space you're inhabiting. The phrase I repeat to myself ended up being the last line of the song - "think slowly, try to remember I'm alive - my body is here and I am inside". Just finding small reminders that you're alive and that you should stay that way - also, connecting with nature is important for me. Walking and riding my bike - reminding myself that I am strong and capable of feeling good.
<<GP>> When I look at the cover, I see the real Liza Anne hiding beneath the person who the wider world sees. Am I on the right road? Can you explain the concept behind the cover?
I remember describing how I felt while writing the record to Kris (50% of the Fine But Dying design team) as feeling like I was split in half. Like I was acknowledging both sides of myself in one space - making room for that discomfort of admitting I can be both stable and unstable, happy and sad, anxious and comforted all at the same time. Fine and dying. I think admitting that those two extremes are always coexisting made making sense of myself easier. The album art just was Kris and Glenn's take on what I must have seemed like while I was spreading all of my insides out to make the record.
<<GP>> Is it true that Hilary Duff was your gateway drug to emo? What was it about Hilary? And who did she lead to and would you cover one of her songs?
She was an absolute door for me - she was my first concert. I was only 8 or 9 and it was kind of the beginning of me imagining myself on a stage and writing songs and performing. Also, her record 'Metamorphosis' totally still stands up - it's brilliant in a completely nostalgic and possibly specific to my childhood way.
<<GP>> You’ve referred to your music as sad girl music in the past. Why do you think so many girls are exploring this musical sphere today?
Girls have always been exploring this sphere. It's that society is just now turning their eyes - we aren't at the beginning of anything on our side, we've always been here emoting and feeling, being angry and sad and taking up space - the world just hasn't been brave enough to give it the same notice allotted to men doing the same thing.
<<GP>> Who are your favourite sad girl artists?
I'm not sure I'd like to call anyone a "sad girl" artist. But I do admire a lot of strong women capable of transmuting a sad and sombre emotion into a portal for someone into greater understanding of themselves. Phoebe Bridgers, Fenne Lilly, Siv Jakobsen, Bantug and Mothers are a few that I can name right now. Also, Broadcast will forever be an influence for me into those darker bits of mind.
<<GP>> I hear similarities between your voice and Hayley Williams voice. Has she been an influence on you at all?
That's extremely kind - in my mind, she's one of the most impressive vocalists and performers.
<<GP>> It would be remiss of us not to ask about the track Ireland from your debut album. On your website it states of the song “for those of us who have a place where we feel our best self is hidden, waiting for us to come and find it. for me, that place is Ireland.” With such strong feeling towards our corner of the world will you be sticking around for a while? If so, what’s on your agenda?
I wish. Every time I am there it seems too short to take too much in - I just always like to imagine, in whatever fragmented window of space I have there, what it would feel like to live there. I will probably take a lot of walks and see some friends. I just like to act as though I live in any place I visit.
<<GP>> Finally, we’re greedy, how are plans shaping up for album number four? And sure why not record it in Ireland?
I'm nearly done writing it. I am already imagining all the ways in which I want it to be experienced and taken in - I'm not sure when we will record it but it's really turning into something that I'm proud of already. I can't wait for you to hear it.
Liza Anne plays the East Side Tavern on October 1st. Tickets priced €13 on sale now.