The Mezzanine
received 04.05

The Beauty After the Storm

Liz Durret’s anxiously awaited second album, The Mezzanine, was released by WARM on January 24, 2006. Prior to 2005, it had been almost 10 years that the ultra-talented Liz Durrett had released any of her music. She put her calling on a shelf for NINE years as she took a “self-imposed musical exile”. Liz was struggling with depression and had experienced a few panic attacks on stage. Although she did continue to write music, she kept it just for herself.

The album Husk was eventually released in early 2005 -- primarily as a demo for courting record labels. Turns out, Husk was solid enough to stand on its own, and it wasn’t long before the critics were chiming in: ‘stark loveliness’ (Washington Post) and ‘threadbare sonic tapestry” (Splendid Magazine) and others compared Liz to Gillian Welch and Hope Sandoval (Mazzy Star).

She grew up in the slow southern town of Rome, Georgia (USA) and credits her uncle, Vic Chesnutt, as her musical inspiration. At 16, he gave her a guitar and in jest, advised her to “write mean songs about your parents”. What he didn’t know at that time was that his niece was a natural talent: Not only did she begin writing her own material, but Uncle Vic also employed her to perform on tours and several of his own recordings! She has worked with him from his 1992 epic release, ‘West of Rome’ to his 2005 release ‘Ghetto Bells’.

The Mezzanine has a higher quality recording – and features Vic Chesnutt’s signature ‘artfully ramshackle recording techniques”. The organic production style offered by veteran engineer Andy Baker features more traditional sonic details and artfully balances Liz’s shadowy voice and distinctive guitar playing. The stark rawness and haunting qualities of her songs are accomplished through sparse music: from distinctly up-tempo to more southerly and familiar lamentations.

Church of Girl considers Liz’s music a gift … one we continue to treasure.

By Mary Ann Naylor + Church of Girl
19. October. 2006