Liz Stringer

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Liz Stringer

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“I spent the last couple of years doing a lot of session work, playing in a couple of other bands, not focusing even 50 per cent on my own music,” she says. “[That] was important for me, because I didn’t feel like I had enough output personally.”


“I had this bunch of songs, but to be honest I didn’t have any expectations that I would come out of it with an album I really wanted to release. I just felt like it was going to be my rusty pipe album – I just had to get back on the horse and get back in the studio and give it a crack.”


All The Bridges is Stringer’s fourth long player in a ten-year period, and it’s fair to say it’s been a long time coming. But then again, aside from commercial pressures and perhaps the demands of an existential project, there’s no need to rush into these things. Though, Stringer did begin to worry that the motivation to make another record might never arrive. “I had moments of thinking, ‘Maybe that’s it,’” she says. “Before that I was always one step ahead of myself – I knew what I wanted to make and I was always excited to get back into the studio and I was planning a long time in advance for it. And as I say, I just felt like I’d gone off the rails a little bit and 
I just needed to recalibrate and get back on them, whatever that took.”


As it turned out, it was a trip to Portland, Oregon that resolved Stringer’s creative uncertainty. To be more specific, she made her way to Type Foundry studios to work with producer Adam Selzer, which proved more fruitful than she’d anticipated. “[Going to Portland] totally reinvigorated me creatively,” she says. “It was such a great kick up the arse, and then I went and toured in Canada after that for three months. In this stunning country, meeting all these great people and playing dozens of gigs – it was such a reinvigorating experience. Before that I was just like, ‘Maybe that’s all I’ve got. Maybe I’ll just be a session player.’ But I now realise it was just a little patch, and I’m writing a lot since then.”


Selzer’s career credits include records for M. Ward, The Decemberists, Monsters of Folk and R.E.M.’s Peter Buck. Some mutual acquaintances pointed Stringer in his direction. “Mick Thomas recorded with him, and Mick met Adam through Darren Hanlon who’s another friend of mine,” Stringer says. “Darren’s partner Shelley Short is a great Portland-based songwriter. So Mick suggested it because I was saying to him, ‘I don’t know what to do next. I’m feeling a bit lost.’ He said, ‘Oh maybe you should go to Portland and
do it.’ I didn’t take it seriously really, and then I thought about it and thought, ‘Actually that might be exactly what I need to do.’ Then I spoke to Darren and Shelley and they highly recommended him. It turned out to be a really great working relationship. He and I really worked so easily and well together, so I was lucky.”


“[Selzer]’s a really good musician himself, so he’s very good at being on both sides of the desk. It’s not a deal breaker, but in my experience it does help to have musicians who are engineers, because they just understand what it’s like.”


Stringer went to the US without her Melbourne
band mates, but she was able to rope in a couple
of Portland musicians to serve as her rhythm section. Luke Ydstie (bass) and Ben Nugent (drums) combine with Stringer to give All The Bridges a live, animated feel, moving through Springsteen-like heartland rock songs and plenty of folk and country- tinged numbers. “I was so nervous,” she says. “We rehearsed the night before we started tracking and they’d listened to the demos, they had great ideas and they were really into it and they were really enthusiastic and happy to be there. So it was such a great vibe. As soon as we started playing the first song I had this huge sigh of relief. They were great.”


With a solid team in place, Stringer’s doubts disappeared and All The Bridges was finished after just eight days of recording.
 “It became apparent very quickly when I was in the studio that it was actually going to be a cohesive album that I would want to release. [When I went over there] I wasn’t thinking about much at all. I was just like, ‘Let’s just try this, because I need to get back in the ring.’ Luckily it worked, because it’s a long way to go to do that [laughs].”

All The Bridges is out now via Vitamin Records. Liz Stringer will be touring nationally in support of the album, for more information and for a full list of tour dates head to