Popping Up: Lissie

Becky Bain | June 30, 2010 12:00 pm

Popping Up is our recurring look at new artists making noise on the music landscape. Because, hey, Madonna and Britney were once unknown, too.

Lissie is that rare female artist in the music scene who doesn’t feel the need to drape herself in the latest or craziest fashions in order to get noticed—all she needs to get your attention is her voice and natural talent. The 28-year old singer-songwriter, whose tunes range from bluesy-folk to straight-up pop, has sparked online buzz with her covers of Top 40 hits from the likes of Lady Gaga and Kid Cudi, but its her original songs that impressed us the most. Her debut recording, the EP Why You Runnin, scored strong reviews, and her full-length album Catching a Tiger (which already dropped in the U.K.) will be released on August 17 in the U.S.

Find out all the laid back, freckled-face folk-rock singer below.

HOMETOWN: Rock Island, Illinois. Although she’s spent time in Los Angeles, Nashville and London, Lissie now calls Ojai, California home.

MUSICAL BACKGROUND: Lissie plays guitar, and her singing voice may have been passed down to her from her grandfather, who was a former international barbershop quartet champion!

SOUNDS LIKE: If Feist met Stevie Nicks, with a little bit of Sia, too.

LET’S HEAR IT: Here’s the video for her single, “When I’m Alone.”

BIG BREAK: At 9-years old, Lissie scored the title role in Annie for an 80-date dinner theater production of the musical.

BIGGER BREAK: While attending Colorado State University, Lissie collaborated with DJ Harry, a local electronic DJ, and their track “All My Life” found its way onto TV shows like The OC, Veronica Mars and House. Once she quit college and moved to Los Angeles, she started working with Bill Reynolds of Band of Horses, and in Nashville she went in the studio with Jacquire King, who produced Kings of Leon’s Only By The Night. Deadmau5 remixed her track she recorded with Morgan Page, “The Longest Road”, and their remixed recording was nominated for a Grammy.

[wpaudio url=”//static.idolator.com/uploads/2010/04/Hot-Chip-She-Wolf-Shakira-Cover1.mp3″ text=”Morgan Page feat. Lissie – The Longest Road (Deadmau5 Remix)” dl=”0″]

WHY STRUGGLING WAS KIND OF SWEET: Before being able to support herself through her music, Lissie had a variety of odd jobs, including handing out restaurant flyers and selling honey at farmers markets.

ON WHY SHE DOESN’T WEAR MAKEUP: “In photoshoots, I won’t wear concealer, I don’t want to look like someone who painted my face, because everything I do I want to feel natural.”

COVER QUEEN: Check out her acoustic covers of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” and Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness.”

“Bad Romance”

“Pursuit of Happiness”

SHE’S GOT SOME MAJOR FANS: Among Lissie’s famous fan base is NBC newscaster Brian Williams, who gave her a shout out while appearing on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and James Bond himself. “When I opened for Ray LaMontagne [at South by Southwest], Pierce Brosnan was at the show,” she tells Spinner. “He came out and told me he loved my music and was going to keep an eye out for me,” she says. “I’m like, ‘007 likes my music!'”

OUR VERDICT: A singer who can effortlessly flow between emotional folk ballads and knee-slapping, joyful rock tunes, this Midwestern woman, who wears her heart on her sleeve and in her songs, is the real deal.

Check out Lissie’s official website, her MySpace Music page, follow her on Twitter, and check her our on Lilith Tour this summer.