Liz Bills is a singer-songwriter and season 12 American Idol contestant hailing from Massachusetts. Amongst her many musical projects, her most recent is a folk EP released under her own name. The short album has some clean production and features some lush acoustic instruments, simple percussion, and polished vocals and harmonies. Liz herself has a great voice with a slight country twang which really works with the folkiness of the music. Some light electric guitar is sprinkled in to the mix to round out the bass-less sonic landscape, and gives the EP the consistency it needs while still giving each of the four tracks its own unique personality.
The EP’s second song, “My Man,” is a standout track, though in the worst kind of way. Right from the get go, we’re graced with the lyric, “‘Cause I am a girl, I can basically get any man in the world.” I’m unsure if there’s a layer of irony in that sentence, but good lord, if that isn’t an obnoxious way to start a song. Bills goes on to describe every little thing that her dream boyfriend will do for her which includes taking out the trash every night, playing her love songs on the beach, and rubbing her feet. She doesn’t stop there, she also mentions that he’ll have a six-pack and be 6’2”. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with wanting those qualities in a man, but the overall message being, “Hey girls, you can find your perfect man if you just shop around like I do, no matter how impossible your standards are!” is a terrible one. I get it’s an empowerment anthem, but the overall lyrical content is about as shallow as something like Meghan Trainor’s “Dear Future Husband.” Mix that in with some spoken-word addressing her fellow ladies, and a final chorus that’s slowed down for no reason other than to prolong the song, and you’ve got yourself four and a half minutes of something that just doesn’t work.
I hate to spend all this focus on the negatives of one particular song, because rest of the EP is perfectly fine. The final track, “Bomb Song” is my favourite. It tells a decent story and features a prominent mandolin doing nothing more than arpeggiating chords, but it adds a great folk element to the uplifting arrangement. The rest of the EP’s tracks fit that vibe well too, and would be perfect as the soundtrack for a lazy Sunday afternoon.
All in all, this EP is an easily enjoyable release. Even “My Man,” despite having lyrical content that rubs me the wrong way, still fits in with the rest of the track listing from a musical standpoint. I do get a slight impression that Liz is torn on whether she wants to play the sweet, country girl next door, or the confident, attitude-filled pop star. She can definitely pull both off if the backing arrangement is right, but that aggressive side simply isn’t fit for this EP.
Written by Mathieu Perrier
*edited by Danielle Kenedy