Liz Stringer released her album, First Time Really Feeling at the end of last month. The career-defining ten-song collection documents a recent reckoning and metamorphosis for the acclaimed Australian singer-songwriter. As well as containing the title track and second single Dangerous, the album is her most personal work to date, and is a musical time-capsule of love, loss and legacy, profound change and her recent path to self-acceptance.
First Time Really Feeling follows her previous albums All The Bridges (2016), Live At The Yarra (2014), Warm In The Darkness (2012), Tides of Time (2010), Pendulum (2008) and her debut, Soon (2006). 2019 also saw Dyson Stringer Cloher, a collaboration with Mia Dyson and Jen Cloher, tour nationally and release a self-titled debut album.
We caught up with Liz to find out what songs she’s listening to for this week’s Front Deck Boom Box.
Troy Cassar-Daley – The World Today
Troy’s voice breaks my heart every time. It has a quality that combines strength and vulnerability in a way that I find deeply moving. The title track from his new record, The World Today is an instant classic. He covers huge themes in this one, and indeed across the whole record, against a gentle and expansive arrangement. I just think he’s awesome.
Emma Donovan – Pink Skirt
Emma is another one of my favourite singers and her teaming up with the Putbacks from Melbourne was a stroke of genius all round. Emma and the band grow together with every album in my opinion, and their latest is absolutely killer. This song, Pink Skirt has a great groove and manages to combine soul, funk, folk and a strong story-telling element that I find myself always really drawn to. There’s a bunch of tunes I could have picked from this record but this is the one I reckon I’ve played the most.
Blake Scott – Hillman Hunter
Blake Scott’s former band, the Peep Tempel was a revelation to me and it’s where I first discovered Scott as a writer. I find his characters and his stories incredibly visceral and full of very human contradictions that, to me, capture the menacing belly of the migrant Australian culture better than anyone else I know. I saw him play Hillman Hunter solo in Melbourne in 2019 and was riveted from the beginning. It’s devastating and beautiful and plays with a nostalgia that is somehow equal parts unsettling and deeply comforting. I hang off every word this guys sings.
Leah Flanagan – Starlight
Leah Flanagan’s most recent album Colour By Number is beautiful and playful in its production and this song, Starlight uses a lot of the arrangement and sonic elements of pop music that I love. I’ve listened to this one on repeat many times. Leah and I have worked together a lot over the years and I’m loving hearing her cover subjects in her lyrics that she hasn’t covered before over this pop canvas, which, in my opinion, suits her flawless voice perfectly.
Kylie Auldist – Is It Fun
Kylie is another one of my favourite singers and interpreters of song. Her ability to move across different emotional ranges with her voice throughout all of her eclectic musical projects always flaws me. This new record is unadulterated dance/pop music and, to me, it’s incredibly satisfying to listen to. Every song is showcases her ridiculously cool voice over chorus drenched guitars, synth hooks and classic pop backing vocals. I’ve listened to this record a lot and it never gets less perfect.