Delving into intimacy’s emotive depths, Lisa Crawley’s ‘Looking for Love (In A Major)’ EP wraps audiences in passionate pop waves of desire, allure and longing, attraction and connection.
Stream: “The Right Way” – Lisa Crawley
An enchanting collection of radiant songs about all things love, Lisa Crawley’s latest EP is as buoyant as it is introspective, and as dazzling as it is utterly immersive and provocative. Delving into intimacy’s intimate and emotive depths, Looking for Love (In A Major) wraps its audience in passionate pop waves of desire, allure and longing, attraction and connection – all in the charming key of A Major.
what does it take to get your attention
too much to say too much to mention
you’re something i’ve never known
a brand new invention
you got everything, still i’m overthinking
I could write you something clever
try be a bit more left of centre
seeing warning signs, saying do not enter
now i’m trespassing, better leave this scene
and what i’m trying to say
never comes out the right way
i put the miss in mistake
wish i could erase today
start all over again
do it the right way
– “The Right Way,” Lisa Crawley
Independently released July 23, 2021, is delightfully sweet, sharp, fun, and freeing. The latest release from Lisa Crawley finds the established singer/songwriter honing her pop music skills, embracing irresistibly catchy and warm melodies through five beautifully vulnerable, deeply expressive, and instantly memorable tracks that speak to love’s highs, lows, and in-betweens.
“I’ve released two full length records, four EPs, and over the last two years I’ve been releasing singles, so it seemed about time to get a new collection of songs together,” Crawley tells Atwood Magazine. “The romantic artist in me wanted to do another full length album and I have plenty of material, but when figuring out the order, the songs didn’t seem to gel as well as I would have liked them to. I decided to do a few EPs instead of a full length album, and these five songs worked together – not only thematically, but also, they are all in the same key of A major. I’ve always been a bit of a geek when it comes to pitch and keys of songs really change the mood and emotion I take away from listening to music, so I decided to do an EP of songs related to love and all its strangeness. All but one of the songs were co-written, which is a fairly new world for me, but when the right folk are involved, it’s a very welcomed one!”
Following years spent hustling throughout London and Melbourne, the Auckland, New Zealand-born artist moved to the United States in early 2020 – relocating from the UK to Los Angeles, intent on establishing herself in the city’s bustling music scene. Soon after Crawley’s big move, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, all but ensuring a much slower integration that she had envision. She had recently released the Songs I Like But Did Not Write, Vol. 1 EP of cover songs (be sure to check out her elegant, piano-based version of “Heart of Glass”) in late 2019 and “Tragedy Boy” in early 2020, but it took a few months for Crawley to find her footing and keep pushing onward – not to mention, figuring out how to use her voice during that year’s turbulence. Following April’s release “Show You What Love Is,” Crawley teased out the songs “Clear History” and “See Me Soon” in the second half of 2020, returning at the top of 2021 with a single version of her song “You Won’t Be There,” taken off her debut album Everything That I Have Seen, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.
Crawley’s new EP arrives on the heels of two more recent teaser singles – “The Right Way” and title track “Looking for Love” – both of which highlight the artist’s melodicism, her vocal range, and her sheer expressiveness, as well as her uncanny ability to inject exhilarating dynamic changes into her music. It’s also a sigh of relief – her first true stateside multitrack release.
Sun goes down you’re out for the evening
Time is up regretfully leaving
Hopes so high keep chasing that feeling
It’s never enough
Fairy tale was less than enchanted
Full of charm but still there’s no magic
On your own it’s not how it’s not how you planned it
But you’re not giving up
You’re looking for love
You keep looking for love
She explains, “Once I let go of the notion that it had to be the ten best songs of my life and that I needed to prove anything to my peers – and reminded myself of the fact that I moved to the other side of the world two months before a global pandemic, with nothing but a suitcase and a keyboard, and that putting anything out at all amongst those circumstances was an achievement – I really embraced the collection of songs and loved that it gives a bit of my insight into my journey when it comes to dating, relationships and self-discovery (or observing other peoples!). I’m really happy with the EP as a unit – it’s left me excited to put out the next one, and eager to get writing again.”
Before that, we have Looking for Love (In A Major) – a set that is quite true to its word, as far as the title is concerned. “They are songs that address different aspects of love – whether it’s falling for someone, failing to say the right thing to the one you love, realizing your own worth, and calling things as you see them,” Crawley says. “The title track seemed to fit nicely and I liked that people that may not know what keys of songs are might think ‘in A Major what?’. Keys of songs play a huge part in how they make me feel and I’ve always liked it when classical compositions include the key in the title!”
“I think and hope it reintroduces me as an artist who has experienced some things over the last few years and isn’t afraid to sing about them!” she adds. “I used to think I had to compensate for a sad lyric with a happy melody, which I still like doing at times but doing so as a choice, rather than feeling like I’m shying away from saying what I actually think about things. I would describe the songs as mature pop songs – accessible and memorable to the everyday ear with clever arrangements and the odd chord that makes you raise an eyebrow (in a good way!)”
Highlights abound on an EP whose five very catchy songs each house their own share of special hooks. Tender, stirring, and soothing, “The Right Way” is easy to fall for – a fan and artist favorite alike. “I think my second single off the EP, ‘The Right Way,’ sums up where I’m at on many levels,” Crawley notes, adding, “The music video with Heather Ballish was so much fun to make!”
She also includes the EP’s moody, yet nonetheless sun-soaked and smoldering closer in her top tracks list: “‘My Time’ is a song I wrote a few years ago while I was back in New Zealand, and I’ve wanted to release it for some time – I think it’s more fitting than ever for many after the last year and a half!”
I had my mind set on you
I was listening and my eyes were looking too
But it’s my time, baby it’s my time
Waited for you to light the fire
Put mine out cause it made you feel desired
But it’s my time, baby it’s my time
Baby it’s mine
Staring straight at the facts
I gotta face them before this heart attacks
But it’s my time, baby it’s my time
Baby it’s mine
As a lyrically forward artist, Crawley cited a few favorite lyrics from the EP:
‘We were common with no common ground’ – “Clear History”
‘Staring straight at the facts, I gotta face them before this heart attacks’ – “My Time”
The backing vocals ‘One of a kinda’ – “Looking for Love”
‘It’s like you need a sounding board, that makes no sound, just lends an ear’ – “Lazy Love”
Ultimately, whatever draws you to listening to Lisa Crawley’s music is sure to act as a springboard for more as the artist weaves together a world of comfort, vulnerability, passion, wonder, and inner yearning. Looking for Love (In “A Major”)‘s songs are beautifully poetic, fun to play on repeat, and deeply relatable – making them perfect for one on one listening, as well as big group settings. Whether you find yourself outdoors or inside, Crawley’s EP is sure to soundtrack a summer of fun and good feelings – even if that requires some hard looks in the mirror and a touch of personal reckoning.
“I hope the listeners don’t think it’s one long big song because it’s all in the same key… hopefully the songs sit well individually and as a unit!” Crawley shares, in reflection. “I’ve written one musical already, but perhaps this EP could be the soundtrack to my next one!I’ve loved working on this over the last year and working remotely with my collaborators. It’s helped me stay focused and determined to make the most of moving to the USA. Peter Murray who co-wrote and produced ‘Lazy Love’ is in NYC and I’m planning on going over there at some point to work with him again. It’s allowed my adopted cat, Iris to star in a music video and gain a following. It’s allowed me to be kind to myself and to make myself laugh with lyrics that amuse me without worrying about how others perceive them. And most importantly, it allowed me to dust off my clarinet and put all those music lessons I had (while my Dad waited so patiently for me in the car) to good use!”
Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Lisa Crawley’s Looking for Love (In “A Major”) with Atwood Magazine as the artist goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of her latest EP!
Stream: ‘Looking for Love (In “A Major”)’ – Lisa Crawley
:: Inside Looking for Love (In “A Major”) ::
Looking for Love
I was writing with my friends Rob Kleiner and Kevin Gibson and when discussing ideas for songs, came up with a concept for a song based on someone who claimed to be ‘looking for love’ but when coming close to finding it, would always find a problem and change their mind only to start the cycle over again, hence the backing vocal ‘one of a kinda’. We’d been listening to Vampire Weekend and liked how they had some made up words which inspired our “eee-ohh-ee-aahhs”. Vocally, it’s very lazy – I can thank my stint at jazz school for that and I was also inspired musically by Camera Obscura, especially in the bridge. The metaphor of love/dating being like fast food is visually brought to life in the lyric video by retro drive-in footage.
The Right Way
I wrote this one in another session with Rob Kleiner. I was on the keys and started playing the chorus chord progression and we both dug it – and kept the verses pretty similar. I’m a total overthinker and decided to write a song about remorse and regret— about wishing you could have another go at saying something ‘the right way.’ We wrote and recorded the majority of the song on the same day, and shortly afterwards, my friend Alistair Deverick who I was in a high school rock band with who is a very talented artist and producer in his own right, recorded some drums in New Zealand, and the final touches were added by Los Angeles-based horn player Jon Maness who I know from performing at some Radiohead Jazz nights in LA! The director of the music video, Heather Ballish, really captured everything the song was about and brought the song to life with her clever visuals.
This one is inspired by me realising that after chatting to a prospective date for a few days online, they literally had not asked me one question about myself. It initially frustrated me, then that quickly changed to an observation and amusement. Then it kept happening! It made me wonder if I was making it too easy – like in person how I tend to fill silences and as a result, over share or say something awkward. It was inspired (by a combination of 70’s songwriters but also the honesty of some of the songs in ‘Once’- a movie starring Glen Hansard and Marketa Irgvola which evolved into a musical that I had the absolute pleasure of being a part of in 2019.
“Clear History” is the first single from my EP and the second song I wrote with Rob Kleiner before the pandemic. It was inspired by my love of retro cyberculture and ‘pushing ctrl-alt-delete’ on past heartache and memories – making room for new beginnings. Musically it leans into a bit of a 90’s vibe with the guitar progression and overall arrangement. 90’s music was a huge part of my childhood so it was bound to creep in at some point! The video was made during week 22 of lockdown inspired by my love of getting sticker photos in video game arcades (and obsessively during the time I lived in Japan) and my cat Iris being absolutely OBSESSED with watching squirrels on the TV. I’m a big believer in using what’s in front of you, so that’s what I did and I love the Tim and Eric lo fi vibe of the video, I think it serves the song well! Another favourite lyric in this one was ‘our love song didn’t belong, there were no words to sing along to, there are no words to sing along to’.
I wrote “My Time” one evening in 2019 while back in New Zealand doing Once. It was one of those ‘write a song late at night in half an hour’ songs and despite trying different things with it and different people working on it, all who were wonderful, but I ended up coming back to using my demo drum loop, vocal and keys for the final version – it seemed to fit the theme of the song the best.
I love the space in this song and didn’t want to do too much with it – I drew inspiration from The Motels and The Cars in terms of simplicity in arrangements and not doing anything too crazy vocally. To me that felt more powerful and direct. Arrangement wise, I love pedaling bass notes and that combined with the Rhodes, it may be the closest thing to yacht rock I have in my repertoire! One of the lyrics in “My Time” that I feel sums up both the song and the kind of artist / person I aim to be: “I’ll lose what I shouldn’t find, slow down my words, make them more defined.”
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📸 © Karen Anne Patti art © Todd Beeby
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