Forced breaks from relapse in sickness, prolific writing, and to London and back again, Lisa Caruso has been relentless in her work toward the completion of a new set of songs that reflect the pause in time since her last releases took off. Now with brooding guitars, a tight and sometimes rip-roaring rhythm section reminiscent of a 90’s childhood, and an utterly unique vocal that swims between an honest cry and a chilled shaken falsetto. This singer/songwriter is an accomplished Artist ready for the taking.
After dropping the acoustic for an electric and working with guitarist Benjamin Fletcher (Sarah Blasko, Marina and the Diamonds) on production in both the UK and in OZ, Lisa’s new songs are a cathartic release of unflinching truths. She shares stories of prickly relations, arduous times, and finds strength in motion, with instrumentation giving the tunes a strong punch to boot. Lisa answers some questions about her single for Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles.
Do you feel a massive sense of pride given the journey you have had to get your new single out?
Ah, I would have to say that the short answer is ‘no’. Hah. But I am really proud of the song and the way that it’s turned out.
Did you ever doubt yourself that it might have been too difficult to get back?
No, I knew i’d be fine and kick back into gear soon enough. My body just needed some time.
Is there a story behind the single Shake Baby Shake?
Yes, it’s about having an invisible illness. I wanted to be real and honest, but also make sure I articulated a strength and resilience that i’d learnt over the years.
Was there any lyrical content that was important for you to write about?
Yeah for sure. It’s pretty raw and mostly literal. I wanted to cover the struggle, but also express an optimism. Hence the title.
Did you have to overcome writers block?
No, not for this one. But I did revisit one section at the time of recording. Had to change it a little to make it feel more relevant.
How was the whole studio experience recording these songs?
Yeah really great. It has been a bit of a broken process having done some in London and then back here in Australia, but I’ve had an amazing team with me on this. It’s been a lot of fun. Very happy.
What makes a good song for you?
Aside from authenticity, I enjoy a song that marries both lyrics and arrangement. When the two make sense together, I think that is what takes it to the next level. I also really like simplicity in arrangement, I have a thing for tone and recurring ideas.
What has been the most valuable piece of advice you have been given?
“If you don’t ask, you don’t get” – my dad. Ha, it mostly just makes me laugh. But it’s true. Especially in this industry.
Are you looking to tour more broadly over the summer?
I do have a few gigs over the summer lined up. But absolutely, i’d love to start playing some regional and interstate shows. Maybe for the next single release!
What does 2019 look like for Lisa Caruso?
Plans are to release another single in February, followed by the album, so busy with shows and promotion. And more writing. Always more writing.
Interview by Rob Lyon
For more info head to Lisa Caruso’s FaceBook page