The world has changed, and it has forced change upon us. Internally, externally, we’ve all been forced to adapt and evolve. As a society we’ve become both stronger and more vulnerable and those enhanced traits have trickled down to each of us individually. We may each have our own story, but nobody has remained unchanged and nobody is 100% alright.
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This applies to singer / songwriter Lizzie Weber as much as anyone else. Like the rest of the world, the Seattle based, St. Louis native found herself in a strange place when lockdowns became mandatory and isolation its spawn. Her result? A new song entitled “How Does It Feel” which also serves as both the first single and the title track for her upcoming EP. While the forthcoming EP is slated for a January release, it marks a new chapter for Weber as up until now she has favored releasing her music song by song as opposed to in a collection.
“I wrote these three songs in isolation back in April. The nation had just begun to shut down due to COVID and these pieces sort of poured out of me in an unusual way. All of them were written in a single day which is not my typical songwriting process.
“I felt very focused on the true meaning of being safe. I wrote ‘How Does It Feel’ when I was so focused on the meaning of feeling ‘safe.’ Am I safe to feel? Safe in my own skin and body? Safe to touch? And what was my personal experience was when confronting the emotions that left me feeling anything other than safe? It is an anthem of gratitude for having someone in your life that keeps you grounded in strength and resilience.”
As must happen when you write three songs in one day, the music flowed faster than she’d ever experienced before. Rather than fight it or overthink things (something songwriters can often do), Weber rode that wave of creativity all the way home.
“I write at my best when I let my intuition guide the creation of the melody and structure. I try not to think too critically when a new song is forming, for that is when the act of creating is the most freeing and rewarding. I wrote ‘How Does It Feel’ in about an hour. I’m not sure I’ve ever written anything so quickly. More than anything, it felt like a stream of subconscious emotion coming to the surface. I started with just an acoustic and vocal track, then began arranging with the rhythm and string section in my home studio prior to the musicians tracking their parts. I assumed remote work would be quite difficult because I’d relied so much on in-person work and the collaborative energy that helps bring a piece to life.”
With a sound reminiscent of the Natalie Merchant led 10,000 Maniacs, it’s easy to hear Weber’s penchant for artists like Jewel, Sarah McClachlan, and Fiona Apple and the rest of powerhouse females that were omnipresent on 90’s radio. That’s not to say her inspirations were only the musicians of her youth. Weber is quick to point out she’s also been inspired by other legends such as Joni Mitchell, Bonnie Raitt, and Carole King and it shows. In fact, when the EP comes around and you punch up “Lay Down Your Love,” you’ll be hard pressed not to hear whispers of Stevie Nicks both in the writing and her vocals as well.
From now until January though, it’s all about “How Does It Feel” and that’s more than fine with Weber. It gives the song a chance to simmer and listeners time to do exactly as she did; step back, soak it in and above all else, both help and be helped.
“I’m quite proud of this song. In a time where so many are suffering, emotionally or physically, or both, I wanted to express my own vulnerability and make art that highlights how that openness calls for empathy from our closest loved ones and strangers alike.
“I really hope the honesty in this song resonates with fans; it’s something we need more of in this world. At a time where we need to be okay with looking to our loved ones for support when we need it, I hope this song stands as a reminder of just that: that it’s okay not to be okay, that we are in this together, and that vulnerability is by no means synonymous with weakness.”