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Say Goodbye

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Album Review

Genre-hopping, Indianapolis-based singer/songwriter Liz Janes' fourth studio album for Asthmatic Kitty plays fast and loose with traditional indie pop themes. While Say Goodbye is as warm, quirky, and likably precious as anything else on the Sufjan Stevens co-founded label, Janes infuses the collection with enough jazz and soul that it hardly belongs in the same section as Jookabox or Shapes and Sizes. Janes, who has been a member of, or shared the stage with, everyone from Stevens and the Castanets to Jandek and the Black Heart Procession, has the kind of voice that spills out like warm summer rain, and when she sticks to straight-up midtempo balladry (“I Don’t Believe,” “Bodies,” “Firefly,” “Time and Space”) the results are quietly stunning. The laid-back vibe that permeates Say Goodbye can be a little sleep inducing at times (major sevenths and fluttery electric piano runs should come in pill form), but Janes imbues each track with such an effortless glow that it’s hard not to recommend, especially in the gray-blue dead of winter.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Singer and songwriter Liz Janes fell into a career in music almost by accident, which is surprising given the emotional power and confidence of her work. Janes grew up in a suburb of Washington D.C., where was raised on a steady diet of AM radio before discovering classic blues, jazz, and gospel. Young Janes took piano lessons and began performing in student recitals, while also dropping in at jazz clubs in Philadelphia, but in her early teens, she developed a severe case of stage fright that soured...
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Say Goodbye, Liz Janes
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