I told many friends that I was attending a Lissie show and one by one, they all had the same response: “Who’s that?” Lissie is not a newcomer (she’s been around for three years), she’s not “underground” (she performed on Conan a couple of weeks ago), and you might have even seen her before, opening for artists like Ellie Goulding and Lenny Kravitz.
The problem with Lissie may be her inability to stand out of the current over-saturated sea of music that we live in, digitally. On paper, the American singer-songwriter looks like her friend Goulding and sounds fairly similar to the beach girl, woe-is-me melodies of Best Coast. In fact, my introduction to Lissie came in the form of a Best Coast mix-up wherein I found out Lissie was in fact the one who covered Kid Kudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness,” not Best Coast.
That being said, something about the familiarity and warmth of Lissie’s latest album Back to Forever convinced me to attend her show at Adelaide Hall last week. And even though many of my friends had no clue who she was, the cozy venue filled with fans ready to sing happy birthday to the singer definitely knew who she was.
Lissie’s penchant for a great melody is apparent and with her spirits up and in a celebratory mood, it was hard not to be seduced by her breezy pop hooks. “The Habit” was a rockin’ number with an explosive chorus and “I Don’t Wanna Go To Work” is just the song you wanted to sing along to on a Thursday night.
Alas, she didn’t cover “Pursuit of Happiness,” but she did surprise audiences with a Drake cover of “Hold On, We’re Going Home” because, well, everyone covers it. Evidently, that doesn’t help set her apart from the others any more. Even though Lissie hasn’t been able to rise above the pack of artists she often gets looped into a conversation with – I am, of course, guilty of that in this review – she most definitely put on a great show that begs for more people to pay attention to in coming years.