By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Earlier this past Summer, New York City-based indie roots rock outfit Lizzie & The Makers put out their single “Lover By Proxy,” the second from their sophomore studio album slated for release on Nov. 5, 2021, ‘Dear Onda Wahl,’ which was produced by Reeves Gabrels (David Bowie, Tin Machine) and Grammy winner Mario J. McNulty (David Bowie, Prince) and recorded at Mission Sound Recording in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
The group is led by singer/songwriter Lizzie Edwards, who was influenced by greats like Alison Mosshart (The Kills), Katie Crutchfield (Waxahatchee) and Ann Peebles. According to her, “Lover By Proxy” was “about finding yourself in a relationship where you have to help your partner through something, only to have them leave you for someone else once they are healed.”
The rest of the band include guitarist/writing partner Greg McMullen, bassist Brett Bass (Gregg Allman, Bernie Worrell), drummer Steve Williams (Sadé, Digable Planets) and keyboardist Rob Clores (Black Crowes, John Popper Band).
The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with Edwards about the upcoming album and more.
Music Bugle – How did you get to decide the official band name?
Lizzie Edwards – Greg McMullen and I needed to come up with a band name fast before our first gig. We were sitting at the bar at Pete’s Candy Store and going down the line of whisky bottles on the shelf – “Lizzie and the Dewars, Lizzie and the Bulleits, Lizzie and the Makers… that’s it!”
Music Bugle – What was your goal for “Lover By Proxy”?
Lizzie Edwards – I think musically, we wanted a real southern-tinged rock song for the album. Something accessible and familiar to listeners, yet authentic to our songwriting style with an element of otherworldliness in the support parts. Lyrically, it was a therapeutic exercise for me – trying to channel romantic frustration and rejection into powerful independence and survival.
Music Bugle – How would you describe New York City to someone who has never been there before?
Lizzie Edwards – Oh wow! I would say it’s a place that really challenges you socially, professionally and personally, but ultimately pushes you to be your best and go beyond your comfort zone. It’s a large city where you can be anonymous if you want to be, but built on the strength of neighborhoods and local scenes as well that support each other just as a small town would. The diversity of culture and people is unparalleled and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Being here really enhances your perspective and allows you to see things from multiple points of view, if you are open-minded and willing to put in the work. NYC is a tough family that comes together when we need each other most.
Music Bugle – What was it like putting together your sophomore album?
Lizzie Edwards – It was exhilarating! The songs came to us quickly and naturally and I feel this is the most mature our sound and songwriting has ever been. Working with Reeves Gabrels and Mario J. McNulty really brought our songs and production to a whole new level. This is the truest our sound has ever been.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Lizzie Edwards – Waxahatchee, St Vincent and as always, Ann Peebles and Bonnie Raitt! They all have a regular spot in my record rotation.
Music Bugle – Which of your songs were the hardest to write?
Lizzie Edwards – I would say “Tell Her,” an unreleased track from the new album, was the hardest to write. I wrote the chords and melody on piano and the lyrics are personal and very melancholy. It is a ballad, which is a departure from most of what we write, so I felt particularly exposed and vulnerable.