Silver Liz: L.I.F.

Brooklyn-via-Chicago duo Silver Liz have been putting out a diverse range of singles over the past few years, stretching from the shoegaze-infused electronica of their earlier offerings to the tough to pinpoint recent singles from their upcoming album.

With their latest song, L.I.F., the band return to their shoegaze and dreampop origins, evoking the sound of their debut album I Can Feel the Weight, enhanced with a traditional Americana twist. Hamilton Belk, a musician the duo discovered on Fiverr and who has recently toured with Cut Worms, is responsible for the poignant pedal steel guitar swells.

“‘L.I.F. stands for ‘Lost in the Finite’, a concept I came across while reading Kierkegaard. The lyrics reflect on the idea that some people actually prefer to have an external excuse to not do something, because they know that by doing so they’re avoiding a harder life,” says Sliver Liz's Carrie Wagner. “I definitely was inspired by Kierkgaard’s very relatable idea that anxiety is the 'dizziness of freedom', which he describes as the paralyzing effect of gazing into the unboundedness of one's own prospects. This same anxiety can seemingly make so many people stagnant, to the point where they make excuses to not do what they really want to do. Similarly, in The Denial of Death, Ernest Becker takes that idea a step further when he talks about ‘negative magic’, or self-sabotage by claiming not to want what you really want most.

The lyrics of the song carry obvious existential qualities, and the vocal performance is purposefully muffled to the point of being almost imperceptible in order for it to serve more as an instrument and draw attention away from the lyrics, which the band members consider to be too depressingly sorrowful.

Prior to relocating to Brooklyn, Carrie and Matt worked on a music video with photographer and friend Matt Schwerin in the Northwest Side of Chicago, which is home to O'Hare International Airport.

Schwerin comments on the video: "During the heart of the pandemic lockdowns, I worked for about 6 months at a warehouse in the western Suburbs of Chicago. Driving to and from work at the warehouse brought me near many of the locations located in this video and the drives informed my ideas going into its creation. Working with a loose narrative in mind and some predetermined locations, we shot in a semi-improvisational way over a couple of days, trusting that we could at least hint at a cohesive narrative in the final edit. Viewing the footage a year later, it's easy to see many of my creative preoccupations on display: transience, life in semi-marginal places, and a sense of loneliness or longing. Shooting the video was a new experience for me and a learning process; I'm happy to see Silver Liz give it a place to live."

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