Otherworldly synthesizer textures and head-spinning guitar licks are a staple of Philadelphia indie trio Lizdelise, but so are hooks. In the spirit of St. Vincent, the band bridges experimental and widely accessible approaches to rock songwriting, and on their February LP Holy Matrimony, that's best exemplified by the tremendously poppy "Boy." The song finds bandleader Elizabeth DeLise in a moment of emotional entanglement: identifying with a young boy in an airport lobby, indecisively torn between cold and distant parents, and in tears over his situation. As the beats drive and the licks scream, de Lise wishes for the aid of perspective and self-awareness, something she knows will only come with time. In the meantime, her plight is summarized in an indelible repeated refrain: “I was the boy, I couldn't turn and walk away / I was the boy, I couldn't ask you to stay.” -John Vettese for NPR
I want to be the one to give myself permission
Guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Elizabeth de Lise is the driving force of the Philly trio that shares her name (albeit scrunched into a single word), but make no mistake: Lizdelise is a BAND first and foremost. For their third release (and first since the trio transformation), Lizdelise explores not only the texture and tone of de Lise’s inventive guitar playing and imaginative storytelling (Holy Matrimony draws on imagery from traditional cishetero relationship-building in its lyrical vignettes, and seems to question the narrative that those traditions are the only way through life) but her endless chemistry with bandmates: drummer Taylor Cullen and multiinstrumentalist Mark Watter, both late of Howlish. Cerebral, yet incredibly inviting. -John Vettese for WXPN
There’s an elegant yet explosive, experimental dynamic at play. Those graceful, refreshing vocals serve as a calming, emotive force. With the ability to lyrically process while navigating personal circumstances, there’s a raw but refined element in these recordings - one that is precisely prepared and seasoned yet seems simultaneously spontaneous. -Michael Colavita for The Deli Philadelphia
“There wasn’t any pent-up anything” says indie rock songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Elizabeth de Lise of the new sense of freedom she felt recording her audacious forthcoming LP, Holy Matrimony. de Lise released two previous albums under her name, but now takes the reins as frontwoman in her first collaboration with bassist/engineer/producer, Mark Watter and drummer, Taylor Cullen— dubbed: Lizdelise. Where her eponymous 2016 LP was rooted in Liz’s love of Joni Mitchell and Andrew Bird, Holy Matrimony is an explosion of fuzz and distortion, hard evidence of the past two years the band has spent steeped in Philly’s booming music scene. de Lise’s wry storytelling still anchors this collection of songs, but the stories she’s telling— of growing up, the fragility of partnership, and childhood traumas that resurface in the most unexpected places— are now set on a wider stage. The band crafts a playful, ambitious sound that borrows from St. Vincent’s spare, angular guitars and Beach House’s lush arrangements. Inspired by months on the road together (in their ’94 GMC Jimmy) and the discovery of a secondhand drum machine, the band wrote and recorded the lion’s share of Holy Matrimony collaboratively in their West Philadelphia home studio and at The Headroom Philadelphia.