When soul-singing garage-rocker Liz Brasher moved to Memphis last year, she found a city whose diversity mirrored her own music. Since then, she’s become something of an ambassador for the area, championing a sound steeped in Tennessee influences — from the big-throated thrust of gospel music to the rhythmic strut of Stax Records — even as her touring schedule pulls her far beyond the city limits.
This week, Brasher leaves town once again. She’ll spend most of the fall opening for the Psychedelic Furs, wrapping up a busy year filled with shows alongside the Zombies, Blondie and Red Wanting Blue. By the time 2019 rolls around, she’ll have another reason to remain active, with her full-length debut album arriving on January 18th.
Released on Fat Possum Records, Painted Image feels like a big-screen adaptation of the rock-influenced R&B Brasher introduced with this year’s Outcast EP. There are torch songs, amplified barroom burners and soulful standouts fit for a James Bond soundtrack, all tied together by Brasher’s supersized pipes. She shows off the full range of that voice with “Love Feasts,” a power ballad about reflection and reconciliation.
“‘Love Feasts’ is a stream of subconsciousness that came out of me in maybe 10 minutes,” she says. “It was fast. I had been reading poetry, the book of Jude, and doing a lot of self-reflecting. In turn, it came out as a mixture of beautiful imagery wrapped in darkness.”
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The song reaches a climatic peak during the pre-chorus, with Brasher plucking a walking bass pattern on her electric guitar before belting a long, show-stopping glory note. It’s a cathartic moment — one that suits the song’s message of burying the hatchet.
“At its core, it begs the listener to be watchful of who they let into their intimate space,” Brasher adds. “It also asks them to always forgive when they have been wronged — to undergo purification, reconciliation, and ultimately completely let go of what has happened.”