photo by zoe prinds-flash

“When Lydia Hoglund sings, her words convey the ache of an old soul. She unspools her melodies in big, booming somersaults that sound both effortless and ageless, her elastic delivery recalling emotive singers like Jeff Buckley and Sharon Van Etten.” – Andrea Swensson for NPR feature

 

“Liza – armed with guitar and her rock-solid vocals, kicked off the evening with a short but sweet set. Her set featured all original tracks – with plenty of bluesy guitar, crooning vocals and her signature sugary sweet whistling sprinkled throughout. Liza joked about the outfit that her aunt helped picked out for this set. She commanded the 4,000 person crowd with ease.” - Matt Kennedy

 

“…but the real standout among the openers was singer/songwriter Lydia Liza. Local music fans may know her from Bomba de Luz or from her work on ‘Pangea ’ by Toki Wright & Big Cats, but her solo work retains a much lower profile to date.

 

Her unique folk sound combines a full, rich and crisp-sounding guitar with vocal power and timbre akin to a whisper leaning against a sonic boom. The former is a surprising rarity among solo performers, (the more muffled tones we’re used to hearing from contemporary folk singers’ guitars being so common you may not even notice them until you hear their cleaner counterpart,) and the latter hints of Kat Bjelland during Babes in Toyland’s heyday. By comparison, both singers belt beautifully, but Liza’s relaxed catalog allows more: Her voice dips, sighs, flutters and occasionally trembles through the softer parts, accentuating the emotion in her lyrics.

 

Artistically, she seemed to be channeling some combination of Jewel, Ani and mid-Seventies Tom Waits. Her stage presence was folksy, with an almost “Aw, shucks,” humility that belied her effect on the crowd. They burst into surprised applause after the first song, then got louder each time a lull between songs called for clapping. By the end, one wondered what it would take to follow her.” Rob Callahan, Vita.MN