With five previous albums to her credit, Liz Longley is a standout singer in a city that offers no shortage of superb singer/songwriters. Nevertheless, the Nashville-based artist has a vocal so distinctive that’s earned her an array of accolades, including a win at the BMI John Lennon Songwriting Scholarship Competition. A graduate of the Berklee College of Music, she’s now preparing for the release of her sixth effort, Funeral For my Past. Having raised over $150,000 for the project, she becomes the fourth most funded solo female musician in Kickstarter history.
Longley recently did a Behind the Mic for American Songwriter that found her debuting several songs from her new album, among them “Send You My Love,” a song that’s surprisingly timely during this time of forced seclusion. An emotive expression of love and longing, it shares a desire to stay connected, despite the difficult dilemma people are facing in this time of prudent pandemic behavior.
“The ending of the song has taken on a new meaning,” Longley acknowledged, quoting the closing stanza. “I want you and me and you and me together. I really do want you and me to be together because it’s been a long time. It really has.”
Longley admitted that she doesn’t do a lot of cowriting. “I go in and out of phases,’ she admits.” When I don’t have a lot, I do a lot of cowriting. But then it just makes me want to write more on my own because I’m so inspired.” And while the new album consists of songs she wrote solo, in the case of “Send You My Love,” a collaboration came about unexpectedly.
“I was half way through writing the song, and I had everything but the bridge,” she recalls. “I was playing a house concert in Dallas, Texas and there was an eight-year-old girl running around who was the granddaughter of the house concert host, and I knew she liked to sing. I was warming up, and typically I warm up by singing a song I’m working on at the time. So I asked her if she’d like to come up with the bridge for me. So I sang her the song, and then I told her, ‘Now it’s your turn and whatever pops out of your mouth is okay.’ So she started singing ‘And you and me and you and me.’ I told her that was catchier then anything I ever came up with. So that was her first co-write and my first co-write with an eight-year-old. We recorded it in Nashville and she has credits on her first record. That was really fun to make that happen.”
Nevertheless, as a rule, Longley says she prefers to compose on her own. “It’s very cathartic and it allows you to spell your guts. That’s always the goal.”