The release of UK singer-songwriter Lisbee Stainton’s new album “Then Up” on 21st April will be followed up by a UK tour in May to promote her first album for three years. Created over a two-year period between 2014-2016, Lisbee’s original idea was to create and release an EP while she worked on her next full album. However, as Lisbee wrote the songs and began recording demos, she realised that she was working on a much bigger project that deserved more time and attention.
For Lisbee’s previous four albums – ‘Firefly’ (2006), ‘Girl on an Unmade Bed’ (2010), ‘Go’ (2011) and ‘Word Games’ (2014), Lisbee successfully worked with a number of different producers. Despite each album’s recording process being different to the one before, Lisbee felt it was time for a markedly different approach for her fifth album, which led to her self-producing what would become ‘Then Up’.
Lisbee said, “A large reason for producing ‘Then Up’ was that I wanted the whole ethos of the album to focus on each song as an individual creature to nurture and evolve in its own way. I relished the challenge of discovering whether I could achieve that myself.”
‘Then Up’, follows two separate themes; the first surrounds the end of 2014 when it became clear that Lisbee had been suffering from anxiety for some time, manifesting itself in the form of a particularly difficult bout of stage fright. Lisbee said, “Unbeknownst to me, at least on a conscious level, this experience, the events leading up to it and my life since then have almost exclusively moulded the shape of this album.”
Despite its unintentional focus, Lisbee hopes that ‘Then Up’ has a decisively positive, hopeful and forward-treading feel to it: “Throughout the writing process I was distinctly aware of trying to explain and digest my experiences of the past couple of years in a coherent, accepting and explorative a manner as I could. In many ways, a number of the songs were written almost as markers or reminders of what I was learning, which I hope resonates with the listener in a broad and inclusive sense – and, with any luck, doesn’t come across as being too solipsistic.”
The second theme within the album is one simply of storytelling. Lisbee said, “I strongly believe that all art, no matter the medium, is about telling a story. In that regard, the Folk genre certainly had an influence on ‘Then Up’. To this end, Lisbee was keen to work on this project with musicians who she’d previously worked with from the folk scene; Cormac Byrne (percussionist) and Jack Rutter (guitarist) both played in Seth Lakeman’s band when Lisbee was playing banjo in the folk star’s band. In addition, Lisbee’s long-time bassist Pete Randall took time-out in between touring with Adele to contribute to the album’s record sessions at Monnow Valley Studios in Rockfield.
For the album artwork (designed by Alexandra Allden), Lisbee chose to use a Grackle on the cover. Lisbee said, “Not only is the Grackle an interesting and attractive bird aesthetically, but its symbolic meaning, of teaching discernment in expressing emotions and awakening awareness of changing perceptions, turned out to be rather apt for the general subject matter of ‘Then Up’.
In 2007, when she was just 18 years-old, London-based Lisbee became the first unsigned artist to play London’s O2 Arena. Soon after, 6Music’s Tom Robinson discovered Lisbee’s song ‘Red’, and his support subsequently led to Lisbee’s music being playlisted by BBC Radio 2. Since then Lisbee has toured with such notable artists as Joan Armatrading, Paul Brady, Gretchen Peters, Paul Carrack and Seth Lakeman, who was so impressed that he invited her to join his band in 2012.
Check out Music Republic Magazine’s 5 Star review of Lisbee’s new CD, “Then Up,” in our Reviews Zone.
Lisbee Stainton’s UK tour dates throughout May 2017:
16th May – Exeter: Phoenix
18th May – Manchester: The Castle
19th May – York: The Basement
20th May – Stockton-on-Tees: The Arc Arts Centre
21st May – Bristol: Folk House
22nd May – Brighton: Komedia
23rd May – London: The Slaughtered Lamb
27th May – The Courtyard, Hereford
30th May – Worcester: Marrs Bar
31st May – Sheffield: Greystones