Liz Stringer releases her sixth studio album—First Time Really Feeling—on Milk! Records, a ten-song collection documenting a recent reckoning and metamorphosis for the acclaimed Australian singer-songwriter.
Recorded at Toronto’s Union Sound Company and produced and engineered by Chris Stringer (no relation to Liz, and known for his work with Timber Timbre and the Rheostatics), this will no doubt be regarded as Stringer’s seminal work and her most searingly personal: a musical time-capsule of love, loss and legacy, profound change and her recent path to self-acceptance.
Any fan of Stringer’s will testify to the strength of her live performances, and this album is arranged much like one of her iconic gigs. The opening bars of the title track (and first single) are immediately arresting with its layered instrumentation, driving drums and ringing choruses. On Dangerous, Stringer flexes her 80s rock muscles with hair-metal guitar solos and the driving urgency of early Tom Petty or Divinyls, while Big City, an homage to personal catharsis and reinvention, breaks from relentless pulses into a soaring, fist-pumping chorus.
The Metrologist looms large at the album’s mid-point as Stringer channels two decades of rumination on addiction, depression, expectations and sexism into an unapologetic and breath-taking litany from the perspective of someone reaching existential boiling point during a bar-side conversation. The grounded and emotive Little Fears, Little Loves is vintage Stringer and will undoubtedly be a favourite among many long-time fans. The collection ends with My History, the only solo track on the record, closing the album with an arresting and brutally honest autobiography and the repeating reprise, ‘we are all the same’.
Stringer says, “It feels both surreal and incredibly exciting to be finally releasing First Time Really Feeling into the world. This is by far my most personal record and, in my opinion, the first real representation of my sonic palette. And, after three years of waiting for the right time, it really feels like the right time has arrived. I’m so grateful to producer Chris Stringer and everyone who worked on the record in Toronto as well as my amazing team in Australia. I’m looking forward to the next chapter in my musical life that First Time Really Feeling is heralding”.
Beloved equally for her rock stylings, knee-buckling ballads and a world-class lyrical and story-telling prowess that sees her write affectingly from a staggering range of perspectives, First Time Really Feeling showcases Stringer at the top of her game. Emotional, unflinching, expansive and revealing—this album is unmistakably Australian music at its finest, and is, without question, Liz Stringer at her best.
To celebrate the album’s release, Stringer will be performing at a run Melbourne in-store performances this weekend, plus her First Time Really Feeling album tour which kicks off in May. Details below.