Premiere: “The Mountaineer” by Lizzie No

Photo: Sydney Lowe

Award-winning singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Lizzie No will release her solo debut, Hard Won, on March 31st. The album was written over the last four years during a period of changes in jobs and residences, personal struggles, and relationship woes. “It was often extremely lonely but also felt distinctly American, figuring out what independence meant on a personal level and also being faced with the limitations of it,” recalls the Brooklyn-based artist. “In these moments of instability, lyrics about sparks and smoke and fighting and mercy and redemption started flowing,” she continues. “In the end, it’s about the balance between vulnerability of voice and the fight to make space for these stories in the world.”

Today, she unleashes the album’s second single,“The Mountaineer,” an acoustic Americana tune featuring harp work that brightly recalls the wonder of the natural world that inspired it, and poignant lyrics delivered in her uniquely smokey vocals. “’The Mountaineer’ is the most escapist thing I’ve ever recorded,” she reveals. “I wrote it from a desk job in D.C., remembering a hike I took up to Harmon Pass while backpacking in New Zealand. I wanted to remember what it was like to wake up on the ground completely surrounded by green things,” she adds. “Plus, I wanted more songs about black people hiking.”

The song’s bridge is a nod to “Wild Geese,” the gorgeous poem by Mary Oliver, that begins—“You do not have to be good/You do not have to walk on your knees/For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.” “I am so motivated by the possibility of trading in guilt and expectations, and getting connectedness in return,” she explains. “It’s a moral exchange that we instinctively make when we get outside. When you’re standing on top of a mountain looking down, it’s hard to to be ashamed about anything.”

Without further ado, Mother Church Pew proudly presents “The Mountaineer,” the shimmering new song from Lizzie No:

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Susan Hubbard

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