No adjective in all the world’s dictionaries and thesaurus’ can accurately describe Liz Longley’s voice. The recent grad from Boston’s Berklee College of Music is, simply put, phenomenal. Every ability, from her voice to her songwriting skills, is nothing short of genius. Longley’s 2010 release Hot Loose Wire is a necessity for any music fan. It’s impossible to choose just a few standout tracks; they are all so good. Longley has so much artistic depth; she covers everything from love and break-ups, growing up, Alzheimer’s disease, and Van Morrison. Oh, and who could forget? Cookie dough. Yes. Cookie dough.
Hot Loose Wire opens with a love song, mature beyond Longley’s years. “When You’ve Got Trouble” illustrates how in-sync a couple can be when truly in love. Accompanied by a mellow acoustic melody, this song is a perfect opener for what is to come. “If You Want To” isn’t so peaceful. Highlighted by intense emotions, (“call me a bitch, if you want to”) this track demonstrates what a struggle relationships can be. It walks the line between doing what the other person wants and what you feel is right.
Next up is “Little White House,” a detailed, yet relatable ballad of growing up and leaving familiarity. Though Longley sings of yellow walls and a little white house, everyone can relate. Even if they grew up with bright blue walls in a big gray house. The song also switches things up, played solely on piano, where the previous tracks were accompanied by guitar. Another uber-personal piano ballad comes with “Unraveling.” There are no words that could justly describe this song. It’s so raw, so painful! Depicting her grandmother’s (and her own) struggle with Alzheimer’s, Longley gives us an unbelievably honest look into the disease and its effects on loved ones. I can’t remember a song that’s made me cry more. But fight through the tears; it’s worth it. It can’t be easy letting listeners get so close, but many can relate, especially with lines like “her life is a thread woven into every part of me.” Whether it’s Alzheimer’s or another tragic disease, Longley’s struggle shows others that they’re not alone.
Not all tracks are so somber; we get fun, carefree jams like “Free” which is all about doing what you want, with who you want, when you want; we’re all “freer than the fourth of July!” We also have a rap...about cookie dough. ‘Double L from Hell’ hits us with a beat about exchanging “Dough 4 Dough,” after which, it is impossible not to smile. “Goodbye Love”, “Avery” and a cover of Van Morrison’s “Moondance,” add even more variety.
You need this album.
You also, need to see her live. She puts on an amazing show. Her down-to-earth personality resonates throughout the venue and makes you feel like you’re just hanging out with a friend. Luckily, you won’t have to wait long, Boston. Longley and fellow Berklee alum, Jesse Ruben will be in town at Café 939 on April 28th. Tickets are available online at www.cafe939.com. You’re not going to want to miss out on this show, or this artist. Visit www.lizlongley.com for everything Liz; from a list of her (many) achievements, to where to purchase her music (there’s more than just Hot Loose Wire). She’s an artist on the rise who’s going to make it. Big. Trust me.