Fans of 90’s alternative music, such as Alanis Morissette and the Cranberries, listen up: Liz Graham’s upcoming sophomore release, Damaged, should be on your radar. While labels such as “singer-songwriter” “adult contemporary,” fit Graham’s style, she does not shy away from the diversity of her influences; rather, she explores them in her own work. Within Damaged, we hear that extra shot of jangle pop, the gurgling grunge, soft folk rock, and country twang.
The album begins with the nostalgia of revisiting memories of a previous relationship, bittersweet; it delves into interpersonal communication, personal baggage, boundaries, and healing. In these songs, Graham tactfully and truthfully tackles the importance of awareness, give and take, and most importantly, the importance of fun, in relationships.
Charcoal on Canvas, the second track on the album, is an eavesdropper’s treat. Written almost entirely in dialogue, this “he said/she said” explores getting to know a lover past the walls they have up and being met with resistance. While the speaker attempts to capture her lover’s person and spirit on canvas, she is also convincing him that it is something worthwhile, to be fully seen by another – “Don’t you want someone who can capture you on canvas?” The tune ends in a sort of “call and response” that can be seen in jazz music, which many will find delightful. The song converses with itself. As the characters in the song speak to one another, the guitar echoes in between responding drums.
Perhaps one of the most telling songs off the album is its self-titled track, Damaged. Through it, Graham tells her audience (and possibly herself) that we are all damaged in some ways and that it is okay. The lyrics hint at some sort of heavy baggage from the past; the speaker is “one of the walking dead,” however they still maintain a level of hope, learning to keep positive while healing from trauma. Musically, it is a reminder of that hope: that “it’s going to take some time to heal.” It is composed of an upbeat melody and percussion as well as catchy riffs to maintain the positivity the song intends.
This positivity doesn’t stop there. No, Damaged is but the third track on the album. We get another taste of confidence, positivity, and self-love further on with the song Over You. Funky and jiving, it echoes those 80s pop anthems that we all know and love such as Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” It’s similar, but definitely contemporary; Graham pays tribute to the past but makes her art in the now.
All in all, Liz Graham’s upcoming release Damaged is filled with talent, craft and personal truth. Graham and her team of musicians take their versatility and skill to another level, giving it their all and having fun.
They travel through the record’s story by dabbling in various genres, while the lyrics drive the tale and explore the varying themes, tones, dialogues and internal monologues. It is stylistically diverse, thematically consistent; an important gem for those who have done or might need to do their own share of healing.
To listen, click through to her Reverb Nation page.