Lizzie & The Makers’ sophomore studio album, Dear Onda Wahl, embroiders their potent Southern-tinged rock with art-rock, dream-pop, and ethereal elements to spawn something all their own. Released November 5th, it’s one of those rare records that combine single-minded artistry with broad commercial appeal.
Created around the dusky yet soaring timbre of force-of-nature frontwoman Lizzie Edwards, Dear Onda Wahl was produced by Grammy winner Mario McNulty (David Bowie, Prince) and Cure guitarist Reeves Gabrels (Tin Machine, Bowie). Their influence, alongside the textured six-string and pedal-steel expressions of Edwards’ writing partner (and Gabrels protégé) Greg McMullen, ensure an intriguingly adventurous, hugely dynamic – and occasionally otherworldly – take on the traditional.
“We’re definitely rock ‘n roll…[But] it’s almost like when we wrote these songs they went through a David Lynch portal, and came out a little bizarre,” mulled Edwards. “So I think we’ve been on this kind of ethereal tear, but our group is really rooted in Southern rock, and some English rock.”
Atop granite foundations of AC/DC and Black Sabbath, NYC’s Makers layer the grooving rock of the Allman Brothers and Pink Floyd’s melodic psychedelia. But then there are lurking hints of blues/country rootsiness, and McMullen’s accomplished love of the avant-garde.
Defying her constant comparisons to Janis Joplin, the classically-trained Edwards summons a heartfelt, nuanced mezzo-soprano shaped by Memphis soul legend Ann Peebles, Heart’s Wilson sisters, and jazz icon Billie Holiday. She’s assertive, yet vulnerable; defiant, yet proudly flawed.
JC got a chance to chat with Lizzie Edwards who spoke about their sound, their process, how it has evolved over time and getting back on the road.