Oh Jeremiah Preps Sophomore Album With Tender Love Song, “LIZA”

Love songs are often too sickly sweet or painted in vague brushstrokes. Neither is the case with folk duo Oh Jeremiah’s new song, however. “LIZA,” premiering today on American Songwriter, burns with delicate yearning, a pitter-patter of drum work nestled in acoustic guitar.

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“Liza bounces through all my dreams / On a cosmic trampoline / With every jump my heart jumps three / Can you feel the beat?” sings frontman Jeremiah Stricklin. His reedy timbre rattles through the arrangement, which builds from a single guitar into a woodsy, rhythmic pattern.

“LIZA” anchors the band’s sophomore album, JOYMONGER, set for release May 1 on their own Baldwin County Public Records. Alongside musician and wife Erin Stricklin, the Athens-based pair worked with producer JD Tiner (Judah & the Lion, Bleachers) and mixing engineer Chris Bethea (Backstreet Boys, Penny and Sparrow) to craft the follow-up to 2016’s The Other End of Passing Time.

The first song written for the new record, “LIZA” is “an abbreviation of Erin’s middle name,” says Jeremiah. “After a long season of not liking myself very much, I started losing hope in writing songs. I casually mentioned that to a therapist, and he suggested I try journaling to find the things that make me happy. So, every morning, I sat at our kitchen table and wrote before Erin woke up.”

In the opening verse, Jeremiah sets an otherwise normal scene, “Liza sleeps in a queen sized bed / She’s the queen of it / Caddy Cornered in the back of my head / She’s got an eye for it.”

Such an image became the bedrock for the entire song. “We share a queen sized bed and she uses 85 percent of it. When you’re with someone long enough that starts out cute and then gets annoying and then returns to cute all in the same moment,” he admits. “On this particular morning, it made me smile to the point I couldn’t stop laughing at the thought of it.”

The first line immediately spilled from his lips. “The rest of the song wrote itself. I don’t have those moments often,” he says, “but it’s such a roller coaster when I do. [This album] is essentially a collection of my journals to happiness. [‘LIZA’] is an ode to a woman of which I’m in total awe. I don’t know why I pretend I’m chasing some dream all of the time. When you’re touring the country and playing music with your dream girl, you’ve already caught the thing.”

Listen to “LIZA” below.

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