Lizzie No’s new album 'Halfsies' will have you saying yes from start to finish  - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
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On her new record Halfsies, we once again see New York singer-songwriter Lizzie No melding folk, rock, bluegrass and blues into a vibrant masterpiece that’s richly cohesive and deeply personal. This album, her third, is a narrative of the human experience on the idea that “half is better than none,” positioning the album as a reassuring look at a brighter future, boldly tackling societal challenges in a manner echoing the legacy of folk icons such as Pete Seeger and Joan Baez.

From the outset, Halfsies invites us into a world both familiar and uncharted. The title track that opens the album introduces us to Miss Freedomland, a character who serves as both a reflection of Lizzie and a mirror for the listener, echoing the tradition of storytelling in folk and Americana music. This character’s journey is imbued with intimate, everyday struggles and triumphs. The acoustic rhythms, complemented by hauntingly beautiful clarinet and strings in tracks like “Sleeping in the Next Room” which opens with harmonized a cappella vocals between Kate Victor, Philly’s Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz, and No, reminiscent of duo The A’s. “The Heartbreak Store,” delves into the complexities of human relationships, touching on themes of loneliness, longing, and the paradox of closeness within emotional distance.

Lizzie No - The Heartbreak Store

Meanwhile, songs like “Lagunita” and “Annie Oakley” infuse a rock energy into the album, showcasing No’s musical versatility and the evolution of Miss Freedomland’s character. The collaboration with Brian Dunne on “Lagunita” exemplifies this blend, adding a dynamic layer to the narrative. Then there’s the stripped-down, heartrending “Morning Dove Waltz,” featuring XPNFest vet Allison Russell, highlighting the emotional depth and lyrical beauty of No’s work, reminiscent of the styles of Lucinda Williams or Tracy Chapman. These quieter moments allow listeners to focus on the earnestness in No’s voice and the beauty in her words, demonstrating the strong songwriting on the record.

The album comes to an end with “Babylon,” a powerful track symbolizing perseverance and hope. This song, like the rest of the album, is not just an artistic expression but a statement reflecting No’s dedication to advocacy, particularly in her role as the President of the Abortion Care of Tennessee Board of Directors. Her activism brings the album to life with a sense of purpose and urgency.

Halfsies is an immersive experience that invites the listener to join Lizzie No on a journey of self-discovery, introspection, and contemplation. It’s a narrative of growth, a game of understanding, and a reflection of the human condition in its most vulnerable form. The album stands out for its storytelling depth, emotional resonance, and musical diversity. Lizzie No’s immense talent as a songwriter and musician, continues an enriching history of political and personal storytelling in folk. Check out the album Halfsies below, and see Lizzie No in Philadelphia on March 22nd at World Cafe Live; tickets and more information on the show can be found at the WXPN Concert Calendar.

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