Lisa Crawley is a talented Kiwi musician on the rise. Since moving to Australia last year she has toured extensively and has just released a new EP titled Up in the Air. We caught up with her to see how she is getting along.


You’ve just released the EP Up in the Air. You’ve released two albums previously, what made you decide to release an EP this time?

I didn’t have enough tracks I was happy with for a full album, and … I hadn’t released anything since moving to Australia and felt like getting some new material out there! I’m planning on doing a full-length album next year. It’s also a very expensive process, so that was a factor too!


How would you describe the overall theme or vibe of this record?

There isn’t necessarily a theme, but a collection of songs I’d written mostly since being based in Melbourne. Since being in a new place and being a new artist to most ears in Melbourne, I somehow feel less need to compensate sad lyrics with happy music, and feel less need to please people. I think that results in stronger songs overall.


Where did you record Up in the Air? Was it challenging working with a different set of musicians?

I recorded the EP at my producer Ryan Ritchie’s place in Melbourne. It’s a smallish studio with good gear. We chipped away at the songs over time, got the drummer and bassist in from my Australian band, Ryan arranged a live string section and there was a horn player who came in. The rest was Ryan and I working away in his studio over time. I even used some of the vocal and piano takes from the demo tracks, as we found after re-recording them that we preferred the initial takes. Ryan mixed in his studio and I got the EP mastered locally – a good team effort!


You made the move to Melbourne last year – how does the music scene there differ from Auckland? Is it easier to pursue music full-time?

I moved to Melbourne at the end of January 2014, but still had lots of gigs in NZ so was going back and forth quite a bit. Before I moved to Melbourne I booked a lot of shows there so had a few months worth of gigs, and I’d toured and had a small amount of radio play in Australia for my second album before making the official move there, which helped. One of the main differences between being based in Melbourne and Auckland is the amount of live music venues available – there are so many venues with live music, it’s quite overwhelming, but in a good way. A lot of venues give the artists a decent fee and there’s a wide variety of genres appreciated. I’m yet to have the same amount of musician friends as I do in NZ but over time that will no doubt change. I’m getting a following over here slowly and although missing my contacts, friends, and family in NZ, I think it’s the right place for me to be at the moment.


You’ve just finished touring NZ. What did you enjoy most about being home?

Burger Fuel, my friends, my NZ band, spending time with family. Getting to see Fleetwood Mac play was a definite highlight!


What’s your favourite part of your song-writing process?

There’s a few favourite elements – coming up with something that I’m really proud of, finishing a song and putting a feeling or experience into words that I wasn’t able to articulate before.


What type of music did you listen to when growing up?

All sorts! I went through lots of phases, but at home we had quite a lot of jazz and music from musicals playing. I was a pretty cool kid, huh? I think Mai Street Jams was the first album I bought.


What are you listening to now?

I went to Fleetwood Mac the other night and was so impressed by Christine McVie – she’s 72 and still writing and performing amazingly, so at this very moment I’m listening to some of her solo material.


You’ve done a bit of acting recently, is that something you’re looking to pursue?

Yes, definitely! I’ve always enjoyed acting and have an agent in Australia now too, so you never know…


What are your plans for next year?

More gigs, lots of songwriting and hopefully a new album and more festivals overseas!

Check out Up in the Air on Spotify and iTunes.