After the release of her 2009 debut album, ‘Wonder’, Lisa Mitchell was decorated with many accolades, none more significant than the Australian Music Prize for album of the year.
But after attracting the kind of attention Lisa did with ‘Wonder’, many artists would dedicate themselves to ensuring their follow-up album lived up to the hype created by the first. But Lisa has remained busy post ‘Wonder’ release, gracing stages on a non-stop touring schedule which has taken her around Australia a number of times, and abroad for a run of European shows and a set at the iconic Glastonbury.
Amid the chaos, Lisa has found little time for the studio – in two years she produced just two singles – but this year she’s found the time to work with producer Dann Hume (Evermore) to create her sophomore album, ‘Bless This Mess’.
“Dann and I have been back there for like a year, I can’t believe it, it’s taken so long. And it’s so good... like how luxurious just to have so much time and really not be worried about the end result. [I’m] just really enjoying the process, really honouring each song and each message that each song has, all the emotion, all the story. So we had a really good time, very intense as always.”
Lisa exposed her philosophical and spiritual side when she began explaining the meaning of the album. She discussed a bunch of real world issues – division of society, the negative impact of money, and the lack of wisdom being passed through the generations – all the while keeping an optimistic outlook on life. “I'm so curious at the moment ... I guess life is so up and it’s so down ... and I really feel like there are such moments of joy on the album and there are such moments of absolute melancholy and darkness ... So I think the album definitely illustrates both of those sides, both extremes.
“It’s a real collection of moments from a real journey through womanhood, and through a spiritual kind of awakening of sorts. And learning more about accepting life for what it is, and for embracing it and feeling empowerment from that.
“There’s a real feeling of oneness on the record, there’s a real feeling of many vocals, lots of voices coming together, lots of raw textures, lots of screaming and yelling ... I just really wanted to make it feel like that as well, where you’ve got lots of people coming together.”
The title track, ‘Bless This Mess’, was recently released as a single, following up from the release of ‘Spiritus’ earlier in the year. Lisa says it can be seen as an example of what to expect from the album.
“I think there's a certain amount of catharsis, there's a cathartic feeling when you’re thrashing away on a guitar or you’re playing drums really hard ... I just feel so much charge about that, about the mess and chaos of life. So I feel like a song like that just has to be so full-blown and just so hectic and everyone playing as hard as they can. So that's kind of what we ended up doing ... Just that real empowered energy I think comes through in the song.”
Lisa is now gearing up for an 11-date national tour with good friends Alpine and Dann Hume as Danco, his new solo project.
“It’s going to be a really rollicking show ... A lot of excited energy, lots of stories, lots of real life stories, lots of moving music and beats; just good vibes, really good vibes.”
‘Bless This Mess’ is available now. Lisa Mitchell plays The Tivoli Nov. 2, Coolangatta Hotel Nov. 3, Woombye Pub November 4 and the Byron Bay Community Centre Nov. 5.