Catcher in the Rye, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, To Kill a Mockingbird. These classic coming of age novels are often chosen as required reading in schools across the country because regardless of how old you are, the process of growing up and growing older can be a particularly hard pill to swallow. Whether it’s figuring out who you are and who you want to be, or being able to identify and let go of unhealthy relationships, or realizing how to *really* communicate and make connections in the age of social media, there are many lessons only life can teach. With original music spanning from when she left home for college to now, post-graduation, singer/songwriter Lizzi Trumbore reflects upon the past few years throughout her self-released debut album, Lifelines.
Although “Facing Time” is her oldest song that ultimately ended up on the album, the journey begins with “For Eldon”, a seemingly simple dedication with complex emotions lying just below the shadow of a playground swing set. As the comping pattern of the piano emphasizes a swaying waltz during the verses, the music starts to build into a more intense driving rock feel for the choruses. Around the halfway mark, Trumbore’s impressive range and vocal agility shine through on a rather intricate melody doubled by guitarist and UNT alum, Skyler Hill.
“Guessing Games”, also a waltz, sounds like it could be the album’s preamble. The way the vocal phrases run into each other seems to signify the fact that there’s no time and no need to worry about whether you’re doing the right thing at the right moment because no one really knows one way or another. The lyrics she sings over the bridge say it all: “stumbling from lane to lane, growing old is only a guessing game.”
As the album progresses, Trumbore touches on several different aspects of romantic relationships, particularly, some of the challenges they tend to bring about. For example, in “Way Up Where”, she finds herself longing for relief from confrontation and the frustration that comes with being misunderstood. In “Quantum Entanglement” she grapples with dependency and realizes “trying to get someone to change their ways is far too big a feat/ I’d let you go, but you’ve got this hold on me.”
While some may say “Recover” sounds like a stylistic departure of sorts (it’s actually a purposeful sign of things to come), the single, “To Remember (We Don’t Need To)”, has its roots in the jazz idiom. The overall premise of the lyrics contributed by Isabel Crespo (another UNT alum), is fairly reminiscent of the message behind the popular book by Ram Dass entitled Remember, Be Here Now, but instead, listeners are encouraged to “always look ahead, never holding on/ we don’t need to remember.” Perhaps it’s safe to say Lizzi Trumbore intended for this album to serve as a lifeline for others who are steadily approaching the existential 20-something-year-old range. Perhaps all anyone ever needs is a little reassurance that they’re not alone.
Physical copies of Lifelines will be available for purchase at the album release show this Saturday, September 28th at Backyard on Bell in Denton, TX. It will also be available on Spotify, Bandcamp, and iTunes.
Voice- Lizzi Trumbore
Keys- Alex Kishiyama
Guitar- Skyler Hill
Bass- Mike Luzecky
Drums- Chris Petro
Flugelhorn- Chris Van Leeuwen
Alto Sax- Jess Goodrich
Tenor Sax- Will Nathman
Trombone- Nathan Davis