Although these days Lizzie Huffman plays what she calls "country folk pop," the 22-year-old singer-songwriter says she was more into hip-hop and R&B artists like Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill early on. But just as she was becoming a teenager, she discovered classic country singers like Patsy Cline, Kitty Wells and Loretta Lynn, and that's when she began writing her own songs. Inspired by her mother, who loved jazz and studied opera, and her brother Kirk, who plays in Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground, she started developing the soulful, expressive croon she boasts today, which at times recalls Adele. We spoke with Huffman, who moved to Denver from Seattle about six months ago, about her new Suburban Home Records release, Pretty Old Soul.
Westword: Tell me about Pretty Old Soul.
Lizzie Huffman: I started recording it when I was twenty and came home from design school. I did my first record when I was eighteen and nineteen. My brother produced it and arranged a lot of it, since I had no idea what I was doing. And this time around, I had full creative control about what I wanted to do. So this is the direction I definitely want the music to go. It's a little bit more country. It's a little more stripped down. There's not as much instrumentation.
Lizzie Huffman CD release, with Bonnie and the Beard, Cory Call (of Arliss Nancy) and the Whicker and Pine, 9 p.m. Friday, November 4, hi-dive, 7 South Broadway, $7, 720-570-4500.
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Do you consider yourself an old soul?
I think so. I believe an old soul is someone who has been reincarnated many times on earth as a human, and so they've been able to experience things many times, even if it's subconsciously. I don't want to say this facetiously, but I believe I've seen a lot, and I can apply those things to my songwriting, to my relationships, to the way I work, to the way I study — all of those things. I don't want the title of the record to come across as facetious at all. But, yeah, I just think I've done a lot, and this is a diary-entry kind of record, so I'm really spilling my guts, you know? So, yes, I feel like an old soul.
Would you say that some of the songs on the record reflect that?
I would think so. I want people to interpret the music and the lyrics however they want, so that's why I don't really tell the stories behind my songs. There are some songs on the record that, when I was writing them, I know what they're about; I think it's some pretty heavy shit. But I want people to make their own interpretation of the lyrics and whatnot. It's been interesting to hear how people interpret things, because it's so different.