Vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Eliza Bagg is creating a world in her own image with her solo project Lisel, but she’s leaving room for the complex dualities in our minds with her latest single “Vanity.”
As one half of indie pop experimental group Pavo Pavo, Bagg is no stranger to the areas between unconventional and unforgettable. However, she uses these competing sounds to embody a living dichotomy that she recognizes in herself.
“This song is a reminder not to take myself too seriously — honestly, to keep it real,” Bagg tells Billboard. “I find it necessary to call myself out on my own pretensions a little bit while also allowing myself to indulge in them, because I’ve always been drawn to somewhat far-fetched and fantastical things.”
“I think it’s important to allow ourselves both, especially as artists and especially in today’s world: we’re caught in the internal struggle, our vanity on one side and insecurity on the other,” she continues. “Somehow we have space inside our heads to swing back and forth from immobilizing self-doubt and uncertainty to a starry-eyed self-indulgence that allows us to think we’re magical and special, that maybe we could be the one to make something beautiful, majestic.”
Bagg redirects the focus from broad to personal in the lyrics, saying, “The song points its finger right at me to ask if I really think we’re all ‘one of a kind,’ so much so that we can wave away any frustrations or suspicions that the world isn’t actually built for ‘our ways.’ Maybe in doing so we fall down some rabbit holes, bury ourselves in our own heads, close ourselves off.”
The expansive concept and kaleidoscopic production is punctuated by Bagg’s use of stray soundbites that include “everything from random recordings of myself singing I found on my computer ages ago to tiny fragments from Stravinsky’s ‘Les Noces’ and Lesley Gore‘s ‘It’s My Party.’” While she has brought an ethereal, otherworldly presence to the indie pop duo, Lisel’s sputtering samples and loops give her idyllic vocals the impression of a program sequenced to perfection.
Bagg’s solo debut album as Lisel, titled Angels on a Slope, arrives on July 26 via Luminelle.
Check out “Vanity” below.