Most Anticipated Albums of 2016

2015 came and went, some albums gave us chills, others made us want to party like it’s 1999, and then there were ones that just never seemed to arrive at all. While Adele made her surprising reappearance into the music world, Frank Ocean was probably off on an island far, far away laughing at us all as we impatiently wait for his sophomore album. He was most likely chillin’ alongside Rihanna and Kanye West, who have also been taking their precious time to release their next albums. Before we get too bitter about this, it’s important to think about all the great works of art that are likely to flood our ears in 2016. Here’s a list of albums that will (hopefully) arrive in the new year and fill our musical needs.

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[Lyric Video] Lissie – Don’t You Give Up On Me

Lissie has been known for performing some of the best cover songs (see her famous cover of Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness” and Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home”), her alternative-folk sound, and her raw artistry. Lissie seems to have all the elements of a true artist and she’s nowhere near stopping. She’s had two successful full length albums and the third, My Wild West,  is coming out in Feburary. “Don’t You Give Up On Me” is the first single off of the record and it’s the perfect display of Lissie’s style. It’s filled with emotion, intensity, and of course, is laced with the sounds of folk, rock, and pop. Lissie knows how to stay within the sounds that fans grew to love, but also break the barriers to give listeners something new. Listen to the wonderful new tune “Don’t You Give Up On Me” below.

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Lissie – The Habit [Free MP3]


After waiting for what seems like forever for a new Lissie release, it’s finally on the horizon. Although September feels like an eternity, Lissie decided to keep us occupied for now with a free EP. Each of the new tracks are pretty damn incredible, but the one that’s got a hold of me this week is “The Habit”. It’s got that authentic edge that Lissie has always had but it also has an even catchier sound to it than her previous work.  Below you can take a listen and download the track for free. If you missed out on the EP download, make sure to get it because you won’t want to just stop at one song!

MP3: “The Habit” – Lissie

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Live: Lissie (100Bands Review #41)

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What’s Left: 210 Days. 59 Bands.
Band #41: Lissie

When/Where: February 1, 2011, Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro, NC
Expectations: After seeing Lissie once before, I expect another incredible performance from a carefree girl with one of the most beautiful voices I’ve ever heard.

Concert: From the second Lissie stepped onto the stage, it seemed as though she was just a friend of everybody in the room, getting on an elevated surface to tell her story and sing with one of the most beautiful voices out there right now. There’s nothing flashy about her – her hair is uncombed, her outfit was casual, and she spoke to the crowd as though we had already met a time or two before. Until hearing her sing and being reminded that this girl right here is a star, there was not a hint of pompousness or arrogance in the air.

The show seemed very intimate. Perhaps due to the fact that Lissie seemed to introduce the majority of her songs with a description of what that song meant, or maybe because even from the back Lissie’s voice was able to fill the entire room, but if I closed my eyes, it could have been as though Lissie was singing and telling her story to only me. The highlight of the night, for me, was when she introduced one of my favorite songs of 2010: “Bully.” She told the room that she wrote this song when she moved to Los Angeles and felt so lost and alone, but was reminded by the people who love her most that she was doing the right thing and to believe in herself.

Just as I expected, Lissie’s voice was as incredible live as it sounds recorded. She has the amazing ability to hit every single note on-key, even when she has to strain a bit to hit the higher notes. What comes as a fault to some others, though, is what I find one of Lissie’s strengths: when her voice does strain a bit and sounds a little scratchy, that’s when she sounds the most impressive. It’s a rare thing, and hard to describe in words, but I think it’s something you’d catch on to if you saw her live.

She played a full set, covering the majority of her songs from Catching a Tiger, but also including some songs from Why You Runnin’, and even ending with a bang: her own rendition of Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness.” Though it took the crowd a little while to warm up and get their legs moving, I can say for myself that the whole night was incredibly enjoyable.

Concert Afterglow: Incredible night. Wish it didn’t have to end.

Recommendation: See Lissie live. Her voice is unreal. And she’ll take a shot of tequila with you.

Song: “Bully” – Lissie
MP3 courtesy of GirlySounds

Written by Lydia

Did you know that Sunset in the Rearview writers are trying to see and review 100 live shows in 365 days? Read More about 100Bands and See Our Other Reviews.


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A Birthday Post Dedicated to a Loyal Fan: “Wishes and Stars” – Harper Simon

Harper Simon | Sunset in the Rearview

Harper Simon is, if you couldn’t tell at first listen, the son of one of my favorite artists of all time: Paul Simon. His music is folksy and sweet, with guitar picking that carries me to a faraway land full of butterflies carrying sweet messages and bumble bees that only serve to help the flowers multiply. It’s funny, though, because if you listen closely to the lyrics of this song, they don’t at all match the tone of the music. But perhaps that’s the genius of it all: everybody seems to be so happy-go-lucky, but in the midst of destined successes, there are those who are doubtful of themselves and who don’t have the world at their fingertips. But life goes on, the world keeps moving; it can’t stand still for everybody. “There are more wishes than stars.”

I have claimed a star today to wish a very devoted fan of Sunset in the Rearview a happy birthday. Bryan, I apologize for the somewhat downer lyrics, but I couldn’t pass on such a beautiful song. Bryan is a big fan of Lissie, and Harper Simon’s music reminds me a lot of Lissie’s. Acoustic and folksy, simple and sweet. Thank you again, Bryan, for coming back day after day to check the new music at Sunset in the Rearview and always submitting your name for contests, emailing, commenting on the Facebook Page…you’ve done it all. I wish you the happiest of birthdays today.

“Wishes and Stars” – Harper Simon

[Shoutout to Kickin’ the Peanuts for the MP3]

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I don’t reblog many people’s posts on this site, but I caught this one today and Jimmy from Head Underwater is right, this is a classic. Everybody needs to be familiar with this song. Still standing by my thoughts that Lissie is a modern-day Stevie Nicks.


Fleetwood Mac – Dreams

One of the greatest make-out songs of all time.

Sometimes I gotta keep it real on this site. I need to educate the masses about the classics. Not those classics where you go “Hey listen to this old school jam!” and they play Missy Elliot. I’m talking before most of you (including myself) were born type classics. Even though recorded in 1977, I feel like this song is and still should be relevant. It’s been covered and covered again by acts like Ryan Adams, the Morning Benders, Tori Amos and Fleet Foxes.

It’s such a basic song if you think about it, but the layering of 4-5 parts with Stevie Nicks’ voice is the reason to why I made the claim I did starting this post off.

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Austin City Limits Preview: Lissie

Thanks to so many devoted fans, friends, family members, and the like, I was chosen to be a writer for Austin City Limits this year. I was asked to preview 3 of the bands who will be playing at the Festival (October 8-10), and this is the second one that I am releasing.


Remember that scene in Forrest Gump when Jenny (read: Jenn-nay) performs live at a bar? Forget the fact that she was naked and that there were dirty men in the bar, and just think about how epic the scene was: beautiful Jenny playing guitar, singing a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Blowing in the Wind.” If you’re anything like me, you would love to have been around in the ‘60’s to witness the hippy movement and beautiful moments like this one. And since I’m still fine-tuning my handmade time machine, I have an alternate solution for the time being: she goes by the name of Lissie.

Born in 1982 by the name of Elisabeth Maurus, singer and songwriter Lissie might as well be a modern-day Jenny Gump. With hair uncombed, a voice that’s timeless, and a bit of a rebellious past, she plays the role of Jenny perfectly. Her voice carries an aura of soul that transports me straight to the 60’s. But beyond similar stories and sounds, there’s more to this comparison that makes perfect sense to me. Both are able to perform terrific covers of songs that are almost impossible to reproduce without sounding utterly inferior to the original. Jenny hit a Bob Dylan out of the ballpark, and Lissie has done the same with multiple songs. Most notable, perhaps, is her cover of “Pursuit of Happiness” by Kid Cudi.

As a Kid Cudi fanatic, I consider covering his music dangerous territory. I am very likely to produce a very negative review of anybody trying to replicate his unique style. Somehow, though, Lissie did it perfectly. After admitting to having to take a shot of tequila before performing this wildly popular song, she added her own spin to a masterpiece and her energy genuinely made me believe that she, too, is on the pursuit of happiness.

There’s something more about Lissie that draws me to her. Her folk sound and her unkempt appearance make me curious; I want to know what’s going on inside that head of hers. Despite her mastery of covering popular songs, she seems to desperately want to define herself as an independent. I cannot help but remind myself that Lissie was expelled from high school after spitting in a teacher’s face. She defended herself by saying that she felt the need to rebel in her younger years because she wanted to be different. Later, she decided to embark on a college semester abroad, but decided soon after to quit school altogether because of her need to feel independent. She didn’t want anybody telling her where to go and what to do. So why is it, then, that Lissie begs of such answers in her song, “Everywhere I Go?”

And I fall, on my knees, tell me how’s the way to be,
Tell me how’s the way to go,
Tell me all that I should know.

I’m left without being able to pin down or understand Lissie, but there is something magical in that. Her unpredictability and her flawless voice have led her to become one of my favorite artists of late, and for this I was jumping for joy when her newest album, “Catching a Tiger” was released in the US last Tuesday, August 17th. So meanwhile, as I toil away at constructing my time machine, I’ll be able to tolerate the long hours and late nights because I know that in my near future lies a break from my efforts. With my ticket to Austin City Limits, where Lissie is scheduled to perform, I may also have a ticket in hand to the 1960’s. I hope you’ll join me on my trip and my quest for answers during Lissie’s live performance on Saturday, October 9th at ZYNC Card.

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