Liv Phoenix | Blip

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Blip

by Liv Phoenix

Unapologetic, earthy folk-jazz that tells the story of finding empowerment in suffering.
Genre: Folk: Folk-Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Take Me There
4:38 $0.99
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2. Simmering
6:15 $0.99
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3. Shivering
5:16 $0.99
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4. Mend
2:17 $0.99
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5. Push and Pull
4:58 $0.99
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6. Stop Checkin' the Weather
1:19 $0.99
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7. Rewind
4:36 $0.99
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8. Reflection
5:01 $0.99
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9. Chicago
3:35 $0.99
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10. Meet Me in the Middle
4:32 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Liv Phoenix's new album is an emotive sonic journey. With roots in jazz and folk, Blip was born out of murky depths in the search for empowerment. The raw, unapologetic sound paints stories to create healing intimacy with listeners. Opening tracks "Take Me There" and "Simmering" fearlessly lead the way - into an unfolding story of vulnerability and emotional depth.

Blip takes you through the spectrum of raw emotion, with tracks like "Shivering" and "Reflection" that twist and churn through hurt to find peace. Liv feels there was no choice but to birth this album in the midst of her own healing crisis, as it was the natural byproduct.

To think- it's just a blip. (And this blip was a mighty wave.) Sometimes we are blind to the beauty and purpose of our pain until after the completion of its cycle. Until we have given light to what we keep hidden, it cannot be released. We must shed skin to be reborn. “Blip” is a celebration of what it is to fully experience and embrace emotion.

Liv has been singing and writing music since childhood. It has always been a part of her process to create music; a natural byproduct of trying to make sense of the world around her, what pain is all about, and how to dance with it. However, not every track on Blip is pure emotional catharsis. Liv thinks of this collection of songs as anthems that remind her of her strength and power, as well as a reminder to return to the child inside (think "Stop Checkin' the Weather).

"Writing is essentially my way of self-soothing. To play with words in my head is so natural and at a young age I realized that I could reveal truths about myself by letting this process flow. Keeping a journal is something truly integral to my health. Even in the loneliest, darkest times of my life, writing is how I’ve found the light again."

The abstract drawing you find on the cover was birthed from pure intention to capture the bigger picture of these songs. The image of the twisting snake in the bubble-like capsule is representative of transformation, as snakes reflect life cycles and primal energy. Snakes are a figure that have followed Liv, showing up in dreams and symbols intensely in the past years.

"The analogy of blip came through when I was seventeen. I didn't even know what I was drawing, and it didn't feel like I was the one creating them. Making some sense of them, it seems that these blips are about cycles. The idea of calling this series of songs “Blip” came from the way the songs captured a phase of my own transformation in 2016-2017. It helped me to see the beauty in this seemingly messed up time."

The songs were written in many places. Mostly Fall of 2015 through Summer of 2017, the stories were captured. The order of songs on the album stay pretty true to the actual written order. "These songs are my little anthems. They carry listeners through stories, as they have been born from my diary and have rooted me through my own pain."

Blip opens brightly with the folky, poppy feel of “Take Me There”. The stage is set with a girl walking alone on a trail. She is there to find her independence and to just be in her own company for some time. This involves a spiraling fantasy of going on this adventure, from cabins on top of mountains, to houses with shiny bowls of clementines. On this walk, this girl allows herself to dream unashamed of the consequences. “People keep telling me, I am free, but I think I’ve gotta find that on my own. So if that means calluces on my feet and branches in my hair, I don’t care. Take me there.” It is an anthem to freedom, and to not being afraid to get her hands a little dirty in the process of finding it.

"Simmering" was the first song to truly inspire blip. It falls away from the adventurous visualization of the perfect life heard in opening track “Take Me There.” Written in October of 2015, “Simmering” is about the deep desire and fear to really follow this call to the mountains. Tension builds in the first two minutes of the tune, then falls into a playful, rhythmic pre-chorus. Roaring, earthy chords make the chorus feel like the beating heart, with words "I hear the music's going westward/into redwoods and Pike's Peak/I hear it whistling through rickety shutters/I hear it simmering". At five minutes, the action falls away into an incredibly intimate setting, becoming smaller yet more powerful until the very end.

“Shivering” was written on a freezing cold day after walking around County Farm Park, a piece of sacred land in Liv's hometown in Michigan. The song is built around a strong, hollow guitar progression. Deep and haunting in nature, the simplicity of this song sets up the cutting poetry to come through clearly. Years of suffering from an eating disorder, codependent relationships, and a strained relationship to my home are what inspired this song.

"I was back in the house that had raised me, looking around at the walls, which I had painted with lyrics of heroes like Fiona Apple, Jimi Hendrix, and Joni through my adolescence. The fire inside me was pushing to go elsewhere, to the places I was dreaming of in “Take Me There”, but not before I did a sober amount of self-inquiry and healing. During that winter I was also confronting serious health issues. The side effects of anorexia had put my body into a deficient state and on a daily basis I struggled with anxiety, depression, insomnia and exercise addiction. My coping mechanism for the stress of that time was to escape all emotions. So, I didn’t do a whole lot of songwriting. It was almost too much to get in touch with that part of myself. I wrote in my journal, still, yet my connection to music felt like ice."

That Spring, the internal journey was reaching outward, in an actual physical move across the country. There were so many unknowns, and the whole move was inspired and driven by following the call of the heart. This time was a pure celebration of freedom. Called by nature, the tune "Stop Checkin' the Weather" was remembered on a trail by a friends' house near Salt Lake City, Utah, to the rhythm of footsteps. "I remember singing it all the way back, over and over again, just so I would't forget it. The repetitive verses echo songs that we would sing at summer camps in childhood. Going deeper into this tune, it's an ode to stop living my life according to a concise plan. You might just end up somewhere perfect if you let go of the idea of how things should look."

Along with “Stop Checkin’ the Weather”, “Mend” was written on that same trip to Utah. Set up with creeping, escalading open chords, it zooms in on the sacred, intimate space between two who share a union after both being in isolation. It is two who realize they do not have to go through this life alone anymore. That even if this union is only brief, it is healing.

“Mend” takes on another life when put side by side with “Push and Pull.” They are separate tracks on the album because of the very different space that they create, but the exploratory nature of “Push and Pull” comes from the depth that “Mend” inspires. It opens with a jazz inspired guitar progression, that fall underneath a playful and sweet melody. "It’s a song about surrender, and knowing how good that can feel, but still having to come out of that to return to my own independent nature. It’s wanting people to know and see me, but wanting to know that no one is really going to fully see me. It’s playing with paradox and making light of it."

The sound and style of tracks “Rewind”, “Reflection” and “Meet Me in the Middle” have a darker feeling both lyrically and musically. “Rewind”, a bluesy, edgy track, and is based upon two emotional extremes. The character begins uses this “molasses-like” timing throughout the tune. Once the chorus happens around the first minute, you hear how she longs to simply rewind time, reflected in the lighter, hopeful tone in the chorus. Yet, with the re-entry of the dark guitar part, she is sent back to that heavy, syrupy place and continues to oscillate between these extremes through the story. This track explores accessing power after seemingly losing it. “Rewind” is a song about grief, about wanting to undo something so bad, but seeing a little flicker of light that somewhere in the ugly murky mess, there was a good reason. "You know, they say, everything in perfect divine time."

“Reflection” is the evolution of this story, touching on a more internal space with this character. It has an eerie yet head-nodding rhythm following a ¾ time. The character explores what comes up for her while riding her bike around town. It takes listeners through a hypnotising feeling space that has moments of abrupt wakefulness. "I fought with my producer about this tune, because I have always thought of it being called 'Pedal'. It's about knowing you can't escape yourself by running away, or in this case, cycling away. You're always going to end up confronting yourself somehow."

“Chicago” was written before any of this chaos began, in Liv’s junior year of high school. Later rediscovered and brought to life again, it feels like a breath of fresh air in a stretch of difficulty. It is one of the jazziest feeling tunes on the album, especially heard in the improvisation section around 2:48. This younger sounding character explores the innocence and naivety of just wanting to jump on a train and be someone else for a while. “I’m changing my name and trying on an Australian accent for the heck of it. Cause I can, cause I can. Cause we’re free here in this land of wind and jazz.” It is a song about youth, about seemingly finding freedom in running from where you are rooted.

The story closes with “Meet Me in the Middle.” A song born in the springtime of 2016, this character lays out how exposed she feels. She feels she has given everything away to this person, and it makes her question why she gives power and vulnerability those who can't hold it. There is a woodsy fullness to the resonating guitar pattern of this song. Around 1:35 there is a sharp remembrance of her power, reflected in the louder dynamics. At 3:45 is a sultry improvisation section, riffing on how she doesn’t need this person to come if they’re not going to meet her where she needs them to be. "I wrote this in my kitchen, the whole thing in a couple hours. It made me laugh at myself. It made me reassess what I look for in a person. I wanted to leave Blip with this as the last track-to be a celebration of the gift of vulnerability, but also the power in knowing who and when to give that to."

“Blip” in her truest essence is a work of poetry that is given clarity with musical expression. It is Liv's gift to the world and to herself. A way to mark the woman and powerful artist she is stepping into with this release.

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