As an artist who has a name I had been aware of for months, I’m surprised it’s taken me this long to listen to Lissie’s music. A pale blonde girl, she isn’t your typecast American export. Oh no, there’s a lot more to Lissie than first meet the eye. She plays the guitar for one, plus she knows how to combine folk and blues to create her own style of music and she writes her own songs too.
With a strong percussion beat, Record Collector opens the album. Using catchy lyrics and varying tempos, the song is a great introduction to the talents that Lissie has to offer. Next comes the first single that will be taken from the album When I’m Alone, which has a radio friendly chorus that leads me to suspect it will chart well. Quieter guitar playing and softer vocals make In Sleep a refreshing song that doesn’t come with the harshness found in a few other tracks.
It appears that there’s a serious message in Lissie’s lyrics; Bully houses the line that ended up as the title of the album, whilst describing the pride of parents towards a child. Similarly, Stranger appears to confront the issues that come with being in a relationship that one partner doesn’t want to be in. Matching these narratives with the melodies works well to produce listener-friendly songs that don’t overwhelm you.
The upbeat Loosen The Knot would make a great upbeat second single, whereas songs such as Worried About and Cuckoo seem as though they’re much better suited to be ‘another album track’. Saying that, the latter is one of my particular favourites – it just doesn’t have that special something that would get it to the top of the charts. All in all, it’s a quality album. In fact, I’m a bit gutted I never checked her out sooner. This album deserves to do well and make Lissie a household name.