Loud Lissie’s in with a shout
Lissie Omeara, London
Apacked cellar, a pool of violet light, a big voice and a blonde mane: the minute you see Lissie on stage, you know she’s a star. And this may be the last time she plays a tiny venue. Her fourth album,
Castles, has just given her a first taste of the UK Top Ten, and her next London date is at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire, six times the size of Omeara.
Born in Illinois, the daughter of an American doctor and a Swedish interior designer, Lissie Maurus seems a very grounded sort of goddess. She lives on a farm in Iowa, and one of her new songs is called Sand, because she recently spent two days shovelling it. Her band is quietly radical, with a woman either side of her and two men slaving away in the shadows.
Her music, which began as folk-rock, is heading for the pop mainstream, with mixed results. As a singer, she has it all – power and vulnerability, timing and charm. As a songwriter, she is less certain, with a weakness for a shouty chorus and a fussy arrangement. When the backing is just piano or rhythm guitar, her voice glows. Can someone get her a copy of that book about decluttering? Tim de Lisle Lissie plays Cornbury Festival, July 15, and Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London, October 3