Not many people can say they've had viral success as a young musician and gone on to perform with some of the regions best acts. Lydia Liza is a songwriter from Minneapolis who reached #1 on Spotify with an updated rendition of "Baby It's Cold Outside." Her long-awaited first full-length album "Of Unsound Mind" is available today, and we sat down to chat about the release.
Treedome; This new album has been a long time coming, yeah? I remember seeing you with Bomba De Luz at MWMF years ago, but this the first big release from you solo, right?
Lydia Liza; Yes!! My first solo album. I am stoked. Some songs from Bomba carried through with me, but a lot are newer songs I wrote after we broke up as a group.
TD: How long have you been working on it, anyways?
LL: Since I was born.
TD: I say solo, but you've got a great band backing you, and you've been working with some stellar artists in the cities over the years. What has that been like?
LL: I have had so much opportunity to grow and to change and to experience. I’ve gotten to tour, I’ve gotten to improve with my stage presence and ugh. I am so grateful for it all. The band I have right now is such a tight-knit loving group of friends and I am so happy about it.
TD: How about working with Motion City Soundtrack’s Justin Courtney Pierre? You've performed as part of his new band, he's featured on the new album on "Crow on a Branch," and he's a staple of my 2007 iPod Touch.
LL: Man — Working with Justin was genuinely a dream & continues to be. I’m such a huge fan of his and we have become fast friends through like ... multitudes of shared life experiences. I am lucky to have him and his little family in my life!
TD: So "Non Compos Mentis." "Of Unsound Mind." How'd you land on that for the record name?
LL: Well I was going to go with the Latin version of that, but decided it was too pretentious, so I landed on the English translation. I think it really resonated with me re: making life decisions, mental health, substance abuse.
I just did not feel “of unsound mind” for so f***ing long. I think this record has been a big catharsis of getting this all “out”.
TD: What are you most excited for people to see from the new album?
LL: I guess seeing me as band leader, seeing a clearer and more concise vision from me … and I’m just hoping they connect.
TD: And of course, we can't forget to mention THAT song. It's been following you for years, but what is it like to go viral? And be interviewed by Tucker Carlson for sullying the good name of "Baby, It's Cold Outside?"
LL: Thank you for asking me about Tucker Carlson. Honestly, I feel like I “blacked out” during that interview. I was just happy Josiah and I are not angry people, and the things that may have pushed others to “an edge”, we were able to maintain composure over. Going viral is stressful as f***. It feels like an airplane taking off and you’re just tied to the back, flapping around in the wind and you forgot you were even taking a flight
that day, and you don’t have any luggage, and you’re dehydrated, and then you land and it’s fine.
TD: Top three La Croix flavors, GO.
LL: That new Hibiscus is pretty bomb. Tangerine. Mango. I... I hate to break it to you but I’ve … moved over to being a bigger fan of “Bubly”. I don’t know what happened. It all happened so fast.
Lydia Liza will perform at Shut Down Third Street at 7 p.m. on the Island City Stage, and her new album “Of Unsound Mind” is available now at your local record store and online on all major streaming services.