REVIEW: Lisa Wright – ‘Mind Of Mine’ (EP)

Ever since we saw Lisa Wright for the very first time at Buckle & Boots a couple of years ago, we’ve been keeping a close eye on her progression. She stood out that year as one of our brightest rising stars, and she’s maintained a very high level of quality with all her releases to date. Vocally, she’s flawless and has one of the most attractive, unique voices on the British scene, and the intricacy of her songwriting is up there with the very best the genre has to offer. Hence why we were so excited to hear her latest EP ‘Mind Of Mine’, and boy did she deliver.

The EP kicks off with ‘Tennessee’, a deeply personal track for Lisa which received a huge reaction when she opened for Cam recently in London. It’s an autobiographical tale of her trip to Nashville, embarking on a mission to revitalise herself as a songwriter, only for it to discourage her even further. We’re so used to hearing about artists moving to Nashville to live the dream and it all sounds like a big fairytale, so this is a really interesting alternative view that really pulls on the heartstrings.

“Tennessee has got me hurting like a ring of fire, make me think I should just get a 9 to 5, oh no…said I’d give it a go. I ain’t all I thought I’d be in Tennessee”

Wonderful storytelling from Lisa and co-writer Kaity Rae, and the instrumentation is subtle but hugely impactful. Massive kudos to the producer behind the project, Matt Greaves, who has previously worked with Ward Thomas. This track, as well as the other three, are pieced together wonderfully, maintaining a lovely rawness but great slickness at the same time.

‘Never Gonna Fall’ is the most up-tempo offering on the EP, an interesting juxtaposition with the rather down-beat, self-deprecating lyrics. It’s playful, infectious and very radio-friendly… surely in with a good chance of a single release. This is tailor made for the live shows too, it must sound incredible with the full band as it’s charged with so much energy and you can’t help moving around to it!

‘Mind Of Mine’ is a beautifully-crafted insight into Lisa’s vulnerable side and taps into the mental struggles that many of us go through on a daily basis. I particularly love the line:

“I try and find a way to unwind, redemption in a bottle of wine, but things like that never take the blues away….I’m a beautiful liar when I tell you I’m doing fine”

It’s country songwriting at its very best – relatability, vulnerability and great honesty, combined with a stunning acoustically-driven melody. With this whole EP, you feel like you know Lisa a lot better than you did before you listened, and that’s a big compliment to Lisa’s style of writing which is rare, and refreshing to hear.

The final track ‘Giving Up The Ghost’ reminds me a lot of Cam’s ‘Village’ in the sense that the power of the track comes from its sheer simplicity. Lisa wrote it with Jake Etheridge, known for his role as Sean McPherson on CMT’s Nashville TV show. There’s a lovely dreaminess that just sweeps you away, and Lisa’s vocal delivery carries the emotion of the song faultlessly.

In term of British country music, you won’t hear much better than this – it really is top drawer. How Lisa hasn’t been snapped up by a label yet is beyond me; her material is good enough to stand up well against any of the music coming out of Nashville. She raises the bar another notch with every release and I’m already excited to hear what’s coming next. Stunning.

Dan Wharton
@LifeInASong_Dan