The darkest days of human existence often lead to therapeutic songwriting. Originally from Plano, Texas, singer-songwriter Liddy Clark penned her new track “Your Ghost,” premiering today, on one of those brutally pitch-black days. “This song was my way of processing what had happened to me in one of my relationships,” she tells American Songwriter over email.
“It started out like all things do / Boy meets girl across a crowded room,” she sings. Clark rewinds back to the relationship’s very beginning, staging what one might expect to be a fairytale romance. “It seemed that all our stars were aligning / The tidal waves in your eyes, so green / Pulled me in and made me believe / That dangerous could be exciting.”
The production swirls with dark, ominous clouds, perched just on the horizon, and the percussion falls down around her like thick rain. “I end up with my feet off the ground / And my head in the sky,” she sings. The fall is abrupt and jarring, and Clark goes on to depict her now-tortured state, as the relationship is only a ghost haunting her dreams.
Initially, the emerging country star could only get a verse and the pre-chorus down on paper. The pain was still too fresh on her heart. She later brought it into a songwriting session with Shanna Crooks (Demi Lovato, Kelly Clarkson) and Michael Davey (Martina McBride, Thompson Square) to flesh it out. “[That is] what allowed me to really open up and build this song into what it is now,” she says.
“The release of this song marks a new ‘era’ (of sorts) for my music. I’ve spent so long concerned about what other people would think of my writing and whether or not every person would love it,” she confides, “but I’ve come to the realization that honesty is the most important element of songwriting. I no longer edit myself to become what I think other people want. I am unapologetically and unequivocally myself on this upcoming album.”
“Your ghost still haunts my heart / I swear I see us dancing in the dark,” she sings on the chorus.
Clark predominantly grew up in the Parkland area of southern Florida and often took to the stage, starring in such productions as Oliver! (directed by David Arisco) at Actors’ Playhouse on Miami’s Miracle Mile. By the time she was 12 years old, she wrote her first song and later spent three summers at the Berklee College of Music in their summer program.
She went on to open for such artists as Scotty McCreery, collaborate on 2018’s Country Faith Christmas, Vol. 2, alongside the likes of Carrie Underwood and Brenda Lee, and attend University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. Now a Los Angeles transplant, Clark, whose cousin Drew Womack played in Sons of the Desert and co-wrote Kenny Chesny’s first No. 1 hit “She’s Got It All” (with Craig Wiseman), is well on her way to solidifying her own mainstream country career.
“Your Ghost” clearly borrows from her theatrical background, while firmly rooted in country music’s long storytelling tradition. It serves as the first single from Clark’s forthcoming debut studio record, tentatively expected in 2021.
Listen to “Your Ghost” below.
Photo by Maysa Askar