A reporter once asked Lise "what her greatest accomplishment was?"
"My greatest accomplishment," Lise responded with a sincere smile, "is having enough guts to come into this world. We should have compassion for ourselves for coming here in the first place, instead of bashing ourselves for all the fumbling around we are destined to do once we arrive. It's hard to be human, but it's also beautiful and worth the confusion."
That sums up so much about Lise. She takes a question posed directly to her, and turns it around into a poetic, fleshy insight that lives inside us all. It seems that her music works this same, intuitive way.
Born on a Tuesday and raised in Houston, Texas, her views are far more worldly than the bounds of the Lone Star State. Her compassion more cosmopolitan. Her lifestyle more European. Her spirit more Eastern. But in the end, she's a Texas girl who can be one of the guys. Or one of the girls. Or alone on a stage.
She's smart. With a Bachelor's in English, a Minor in History, and an MBA from the University of Texas. And she's wise. It shows in her lyrics - which she writes. And her music, which she plays. And her growth, which she embraces with each new album.
Three albums. Three producers. Three distinctly wondrous worlds created.
Her debut album "White Heart," released in 1999, had sixteen songs. She threw it all out there like pyroclastic embers from a volcano that had finally been uncorked. Unlike most who struggle to find even eight tracks for a first album, Lise couldn't slow it down, or turn it off. Since she was a little girl, crawling out of bed throughout the night to put the needle back at the beginning of song, she has had a love affair with lyrics and melody and the places only a song can take you. And it hasn't slowed since those long nights.
Her follow-up album, "Lovers' Moon, " hit the streets in 2002. Produced by John Egan and backup vocals by Mando Saenz, Lovers' Moon showed a true progression, both lyrically and melodically. A soothing, cerebral album, Lise takes you on a tour of lovers slipping away, redemption, November skies - subtle songs that, once you turn your brain on, you actually learn about yourself.
Her third album, "In the Wake," produced in 2004 in Brisbane, Australia by Mike Flanders, set out on a new musical path. The experience down under moved her. A world away, and away from her world, Lise held up in a small motel, living on potato chips and wine and made the most of Mike's prolific, contagious, Aussie energy. She wrote. She performed. And she recorded, often seven days a week.
"I loved Mike's production, and really loved how much he nurtured and pushed me at the same time. Mike not only produced that record, he played half of the instruments on it. He worked his tail off. I got exhausted just watching him. I loved how much he cared and listened, even with subjects he obviously knew more about than me.
He was just so open. Really a great friend as well. And she soaked up a culture of bravado and gusto and a love of music." The result - an album that grips and nurtures you.
Lise is a regular on the Houston music scene and has played in Australia and Austin's coveted SXSW. With a growing fan base and a popular album gaining press, Lise will soon be playing more regional shows and has had discussions about touring along the Eastern seaboard.
Truth be told, Lise is not easy to bottle. She's honest enough. But that doesn't mean simple. She's got her demons and her angels. Struggles and successes. Center stage love affairs and back stage stories.
In the end, Lise has a vision that is worth seeing, a voice worth hearing, and music worth remembering.
She's the kind of girl you want to hop on a freight train with, ride over to the next town somewhere down the line while she strums her guitar, shoot pool in a honky tonk and walk back along a dark country road trying to grasp the magic of stars that still shine luminously, but no longer exist.
And that's how her music will live on. Shining with insights long after we have all moved on as well.
Lise On Music
I love a beautiful voice, lyrics, and music. I want to be moved, challenged, changed, and soothed. I want to have an out-of-body experience and be reminded that I am human at the same time. I want a song to make me get goose bumps and cry, and I want another one to make me want to sweat and drink tequila and dance so hard I can hardly walk the next day. I want a single voice ringing through an outdoor amphitheatre, a song with 1000 violins and trumpets, and a song with a few guitars and tambourine and a couple of dogs barking and kids yelling in the background. I want my brother Robert standing on a rock reciting poems. Whatever genres fit into all of that are my favorite.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Break My Body
2. You Get What You Ask For
3. Just a Little
4. Tragic Flaws
5. If I Turn Up Dead
7. Bone Orchard
8. Decade Down the Line
9. Don't You Tell Me My Life
10. I Know
12. Hard Up to Love