My Wild West is the third studio album by Lissie, the singer-songwriter famed for the success of her critically acclaimed 2010 debut Catching a Tiger, followed by 2013’s less-loved Back to Forever. Her distinctive, earthy vocals have earned just comparisons with Stevie Nicks and this new album offers multiple opportunities for range.
Opening with the electric energy of ‘My Wild West Overture’ provides a significant contrast to the gentle piano chords of the slower, steady ‘Hollywood’. This album remains firmly in the same vein as Lissie’s previous work: strong building guitar with a soft western edge. It captures the nomadic, free-spirited style reflected in the album artwork: darkness surrounds her as she walks, one arm shaking her messy blonde hair. “I’ll be fine” she sings, in the closing of the third song ‘Wild West’, a sentiment which captures the personal, independent message of the album. It was written as Lissie was preparing to leave her home in California for the Midwest – there is nostalgia in her lyrics but the reflective nature of the songs affirms a forward-looking optimism.
Some of her lyrics are on the simplistic side (“It’s all right, it’s ok/ it don’t matter what they say…”), but songs such as ‘Hero’ do capture a clear storytelling style. Yet it’s ‘Daughters’, which is most strikingly powerful. “We are the Daughters/ we are the sisters…” she sings in the electric chorus to the song which can only be described as distinctly feminist. My Wild West is an evocative, atmospheric third album, one I’ll be listening to again and again.
[Tara Fitzpatrick – @TFitzpatrick]