Lissie – Catching a Tiger

The song ‘Everywhere I Go‘ was my first introduction to Lissie’s music, during an episode of the television show Dollhouse. It’s a fantastic song, one that’s quiet, stripped down to guitar, lyrics and an incredible vocal performance from Lissie: it’s a heart aching song, one that soars during the chorus with an impressive range from the singer. Tracking down her EP, ‘Why You Runnin”, I was introduced to more of her music, but it didn’t really stick with me.

Lissie’s first album Catching A Tiger is a work that caught me completely off guard. Initially, I wasn’t sure what to think of it: her music still didn’t catch me: my introduction of a quiet, thoughtful song initially didn’t prepare me for the sheer range of style that Lissie exhibits over the course of the album.

Record Collector, the first track off of the album, is a good example of what the album feels like as a whole. There’s an eclectic sound, with an infectious, steady beat that slows to a crawl before an infusion of energy that blasts away: its an extraordinary track, and one that represents the album as a whole.

What impresses me the most, I think, is the range at which Lissie seems to operate: she’s sentimental without wallowing in grief (When I’m Alone), pointed but not angry (Bully), nostalgic (Cuckoo), and wistful (In Sleep). Catching A Tiger is an album that has a lot to give to a lot of people: there’s something for everyone here, and I’m sure that given any number of periods in my life, I’d see the album in a lot of different ways.

Also impressive is the raw energy that Lissie is able to bring to the table for tracks like In Sleep, Loosen the Knot, Cuckoo, but can turn around for tracks like Oh Mississippi or Everywhere I Go, naturally. She feels like she’s right at home rocking out on stage (and it’s worth checking out videos of her performances online), or singing solo in front of a crowd. It’s something that I’ve heard other artists attempt, but I’m not sure that I’ve really heard anyone pull it off as convincingly as she seems to be able to, at least on the record.

Catching A Tiger is a fun, exciting album, one that I’ve been playing the car: much of the album is perfect for blasting around the highways of Vermont during the middle of summer: vibrant, rich and surprising, all at once.

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