Photo Credit: Katrina Sorrentino
Originally appeared on the 405, view archived article here.
Her new album, Save Me, is a first for Liz Vice in many ways, despite being her sophomore LP. Her debut was written entirely by Josh White, showing off her voice with what is quite literally soul music, with notable Christian overtones. It became a surprise success which has led Vice to her recent, pleading release. She wrote or co-wrote most of the songs on Save Me, and realized that her gift wasn’t just a fluke; even before knowing she’d release a second album, she knew she had to record it. The rest followed suit.
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I read that you moved to New York and began leading a church choir, is that still the case?
Liz Vice: It’s so funny, when I tell people that I lead worship at a church, they assume it’s a choir. In my mind, they envision Sister Act, but that’s not it at all. [laughs] So just imagine a small church gathering in the school auditorium with me at the front of a three-piece band singing songs in front of a congregation of fifty to a hundred people, leading songs of hope and remembrance of who we are in Jesus. I never wanted to do this because, even though I grew up in Portland which is pretty liberal and open, I have never been part of a church that let women lead. I knew some women who were leaders in churches and they struggled. But it wasn’t like that when I moved [to New York].
On Save Me, the track “Brick by Brick” seems like it’s about Trump’s wall, especially with the sound of the protests against the travel ban in the recording. It seems like an overt political statement.
Liz Vice: You know what’s funny about that song, we were supposed to add the words “brick by brick” in it. While people sing “take my hand, let’s do this together…” I sing, “brick by brick, tear that wall down.”
I told myself I would not make another record unless God gave me something to say, but I’m not necessarily trying to be political. I wrote ‘Brick by Brick’ with someone named Micah Bourne, a spoken word artist, poet, and, honestly, a modern day prophet too. Micah and I wrote four songs together because we can talk about the state of the country, we can talk about the state of the church. This song could be about the wall, it could be about the travel ban, it could be about Donald Trump, it could be about Mother Teresa begging the government for more funding to feed the poor. It also is a wall that we build up around one another. It’s just about light versus darkness and that light will overcome darkness.