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LIZ PHAIR

Liz Phair

Exile In Guyville - 30th Anniversary Edition

    2023 marks the 30th anniversary of Liz Phair’s beloved debut record, Exile In Guyville, which was first released on 22nd June, 1993 via Matador. To mark this, Matador Records will reissue the album on limited edition purple vinyl.

    An 18-track double album loosely framed as a song-by-song reply to The Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main St., Exile In Guyville was dubbed a classic upon arrival. The album’s profile has only risen in the ensuing years. It is now regarded as an iconic work and a feminist landmark, recently cracking the top ten of Pitchfork’s “Best 150 Albums of the 1990s” (#4) and the top 100 of Rolling Stone’s “Best 500 Albums of All Time” (#56).

    Liz Phair has continued to defy expectations and break barriers. She has released five albums, sold over five million records, composed music for television, and received two Grammy ® nominations. In 2019, she published a memoir titled Horror Stories. On her most recent full-length, Soberish (2021), Phair reunited with Exile in Guyville producer Brad Wood.

    Today, three decades after the release of her debut, Phair’s influence in contemporary music – and particularly over female voices – resonates more strongly than ever.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. 6’1”
    2. Help Me, Mary
    3. Glory
    4. Dance Of The Seven Veils
    5. Never Said
    6. Soap Star Joe
    7. Explain It To Me
    8. Canary
    9. Mesmerizing
    10. Fuck And Run
    11. Girls! Girls! Girls!
    12. Divorce Song
    13. Shatter
    14. Flower
    15. Johnny Sunshine
    16. Gunshy
    17. Stratford-On-Guy
    18. Strange Loop?

    Liz Phair

    Soberish

      Liz Phair is pleased to announce details of, Soberish, her highly-anticipated new album, and first collection of original material in eleven years. Produced by Phair’s longtime collaborator Brad Wood – known for helming Phair’s seminal albums Exile In Guyville, Whip-Smart, and whitechocolatespaceegg

      Almost thirty years since her peerless debut album, Exile In Guyville, was released (voted #56 on Rolling Stone’s 2020 list of the 500 Greatest albums of All Time), Phair returns with a new record that will both intrigue and satisfy her long-standing fans, and introduce her to a smart young audience whose contemporary heroes have been reading from Phair’s playbook since they first picked up a guitar.

      Liz Phair has achieved the kind of status in her industry rarely bestowed on recording artists. Her albums in the 1990s were central to the indie rock canon of the day. Her image was featured in countless magazines, early Apple commercials and Gap ads. Her eponymous album for Capitol Records in 2003 took Phair in a pop direction that ruffled some critics’ feathers but nonetheless went gold, galvanizing a host of new fans, particularly among young women who fell in love with hits like “Why Can’t I” and

      “Extraordinary”, tracks that were featured in several major films and TV shows, including 13 going on 30, Raising Helen and How to Deal. Liz has picked up two Grammy nominations, and a spot in Pitchfork’s “Greatest Albums of the 90s” with over five million record sales to date (including three U.S. gold albums). She sang “God Bless America” at the opening game of the Chicago White Sox World Series victory in her hometown in 2005.

      Her acclaimed memoir, Horror Stories, published by Random House in 2019, was an insightful, passionate and no-holds-barred look at the life of a singular woman who has been disrupting and influencing since she knew the meaning of the words. The New York Times, The Boston Globe, NPR and the Wall Street Journal championed her first foray into prose. She’s a guitar player who’s created her own voicings and structures; a feminist trailblazer; a composer for film and TV; a visual artist; a lyricist of brutal honesty and devil-may-care insouciance.

      Soberish is a portrait of Phair in the present tense, taking all of the facets of her melodic output over the years and synthesizing them into a beautiful, perfect whole. She’s at the top of her game in the recording studio, drawing upon years of experience in television composition to weave through the songs daring and unexpected sound design. With Brad Wood’s exquisite engineering and masterful production, the result is a wholly fresh yet satisfyingly familiar sound that challenges on the first listen and seduces with each subsequent play through. The earworms are strong with this one!

      Phair says, “I found my inspiration for Soberish by delving into an early era of my music development, my art school years spent listening to Art Rock and New Wave music non-stop on my Walkman. The English Beat, The Specials, Madness, R.E.M.s Automatic for the People, Yazoo, The Psychedelic Furs, Talking Heads, Velvet Underground, Laurie Anderson, and the Cars. The city came alive for me as a young person, the bands in my headphones lending me the courage to explore.”

      None of the arrangements on Soberish are traditional songwriting standards, but the hooks are so catchy, the imagery so compelling, that the listener is drawn effortlessly along with the music. There are the off-kilter, unexpected guitar chords listeners will recognize as her signature style, a mainstay from her earliest work; the instantly knowable choruses of her most pop-friendly songs of the early 2000’s; the frank lyricism and storytelling that has opened doors for countless women picking up guitars and attempting to speak about their experiences.

      To look forward, Phair has spent a little time looking back. Looking back at a career that has achieved so much, and with plenty more to come. The celebrated box set reissue of Guvyille and the Girly-Sound tapes back in 2018 acted as a catalyst for Liz to remember what teenage Liz felt when that music was putting her name up in lights. It was a dizzying blur of excitement, fueled by her innate knack for delivering straightforward but devastating, razor-sharp songs. Soberish arrives, shoulder to shoulder with her past work, full of world-weary experience but dancing with a breeziness and brashness that wouldn’t be out of place at any point in her career. From the record’s title track to “Spanish Doors,” “The Game,” ‘Ba Ba Ba,” “In There,” and “Hey Lou”, these hooks and melodies have never come easier for Phair, which is why Soberish is her best and most instantly enjoyable record in decades. Impactful, and with purpose.

      Phair shares insight into the meaning of her title: “Soberish can be about partying. It can be about self-delusion. It can be a about chasing that first flush of love or, in fact, any state of mind that allows you to escape reality for a while and exist on a happier plane. It’s not self-destructive or out of control; it’s as simple as the cycle of dreaming and waking up. That’s why I chose to symbolize Soberish with a crossroads, with a street sign. It’s best described as a simple pivot of perspective. When you meet your ‘ish’ self again after a period of sobriety, there’s a deep recognition and emotional relief that floods you, reminding you that there is more to life, more to reality and to your own soul than you are consciously aware of. But if you reach for too much of a good thing, or starve yourself with too little, you’ll lose that critical balance.”

      If Liz Phair’s career has had a governing philosophy, we might take it as this: hold to the centre, swing around. This return, this new collection of songs, shows her at her finest: playful, inquisitive, uncompromising, but anchored. The centre can still hold.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: It's been eleven long years since we had any music from Liz Phair, and this latest outing could easily have come from the grungy 90's, full of poppy hooks and distorted guitars and punky attitude but enriched with a distinctly modern production aesthetic. Brilliantly written, and wonderfully effervescent. A great return for Phair.

      TRACK LISTING

      Spanish Doors
      The Game
      Hey Lou
      In There
      Good Side
      Sheridan Side
      Ba Ba Ba
      Soberish
      Soul Sucker
      Lonely Street
      Dosage
      Bad Kitty
      Rain Scene

      Liz Phair

      Exile In Guyville - Reissue

        2018 marks the 25th anniversary of Liz Phair’s landmark Exile in Guyville album. On May 4th, Matador Records will reissue the album on vinyl and CD. Re-mastered by Emily Lazar at The Lodge, the album is set for a remembrance worthy of its greatness. In addition to the straight reissue, Matador is also releasing Girly-Sound To Guyville, an extensive vinyl box set to celebrate the anniversary.

        Originally released in 1993, Exile In Guyville is a seminal album and a feminist landmark. Its legendary status has only grown over the years. It’s continually included in countless lists…Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest albums of all time + 100 best albums of the 90s, Pitchfork’s Top 100 albums of the 90s, etc. Numerous essays and think pieces have been written about it and the number of accolades piled on is endless.

        Since the release of Exile in Guyville, Liz Phair has continued to defy expectation and break barriers. She has released five albums, and is currently working on a new one with Ryan Adams. She has also composed music for television shows and received awards for that work. In November, it was announced that she would be fulfilling a longtime dream to be an author, having received a two-book deal with Random House. Her first book will be called Horror Stories which focuses on “heartbreak, motherhood, and everything in between.

        TRACK LISTING

        1. 6'1"
        2. Help Me Mary
        3. Glory
        4. Dance Of The Seven Veils
        5. Never Said
        6. Soap Star Joe
        7. Explain It To Me
        8. Canary
        9. Mesmerizing
        10. Fuck And Run
        11. Girls! Girls! Girls!
        12. Divorce Song
        13. Shatter
        14. Flower
        15. Johnny Sunshine
        16. Gunshy
        17. Stratford-On-Guy
        18. Strange Loop


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