“There wasn’t any pent-up anything” says indie rock songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Liz de Lise of the new sense of freedom she felt recording her audacious forthcoming LP, Holy Matrimony. Liz 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—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. Like the pit in her stomach on the dreamy “Sated,” de Lise’s intimate voice is “gnawing and clawing its way out” into new territory. Inspired by months on the road together (in their ’94 GMC Jimmy) and the discovery of a secondhand drum machine, de Lise and Watter wrote and recorded the lion’s share of Holy Matrimony collaboratively in their West Philadelphia home studio and at The Headroom Philadelphia.
The duo crafts a playful, ambitious sound that borrows from St. Vincent’s spare, angular guitars and Beach House’s lush arrangements. Their sonic mischief is at its peak on “Probably Die,” which the band describes as a "cheesy love song,” if you don’t count the pitch-shifting vocals, guitar mayhem, and unhinged reverb. At once earnest and ugly, it embraces both the sweet and the sticky parts of being in love—and growls about them too. “Probably Die” starts with a dramatic wink and ends in an emotional avalanche, a line the band walks masterfully throughout Holy Matrimony. They might be having fun but they really mean what they’re saying.