Elisabeth Corrin Maurus, known mononymously as “Lissie,” has had a busy pandemic -- not with tours, but with two retrospective album releases, a popcorn company (Ott’s Pops), and writing.
Her Castle show on Saturday (with Jillian Rae and Josiah Smith), organized by My Town My Music, was supposed to take place back in March 2020 -- there’s no need to explain the delay. She played in the Twin Cities last weekend, and will be in Rochester on Saturday -- but aside from a few live-streamed or socially distanced shows, she’s been largely quiet.
There’s a good reason -- a brand-new album of originals in the works, which she hopes to release in 2022. After that, she’ll take another look at touring.
“I’ll probably hit it hard again when I have a new body of work to share with people,” Maurus said.
We caught up with her about new music and what to expect from Saturday’s performance.
Is there a theme or throughline to your upcoming album that you can share?
I’m still trying to figure it out. I didn’t write very much through the first six months of the pandemic. I went through a breakup, and there was a lot going on politically, and in the world. As a songwriter, I really felt so thick in the turmoil of everything around me that I didn’t really know what to write about or where to start. But by last November, I started to really write a lot of other songs.
Every month or month and a half, I would go write, and then record, and then write, and then record -- this album feels really different, in that I made it in these kind of chunks. When it started out, it was a lot about this breakup, but then, a couple months ago, that (got) out of my system, so the songs and the energy have shifted to being more about just life, and hope, and looking forward to the future.
So I have to sit down with all the songs and myself, and just figure out how they all fit together. In the past, I would just make an album all at once -- like “Catching a Tiger,” that was all about one specific period in my life. This album feels different because I’ve been creating as I’ve reached different stages of acceptance and hope.
So that’ll be in the works for the rest of the year?
Life feels so busy right now. I started a popcorn company, and I bought a building in Iowa, so you know, on days when I’m supposed to be working on music, I end up (not). I live on a farm, so I have to, you know, go, “Well, I have so many tomatoes, I’ve gotta spend the day taking the skins off tomatoes, then I’ve got to go make popcorn…”
I really need to focus on my music a little bit more, to be honest.
What can fans expect from Saturday’s concert? Any new music that’s complete enough to share?
You know, I think I need to make sure I don’t always do the same set, because you do sort of settle into, “OK, these are the popular songs from each album I’ve put out over the last 10 years,” there are ones that you feel like you have to play. But my set’s only an hour. … I really have to condense. But it’s also fun to play new music. It’s felt a little self-indulgent to keep dwelling on the past. I’m very eager to be like, “OK, this is a whole new chapter,” but I’m not ready to blow the lid off the new stuff just yet.
If you go
What: Lissie with Jillian Rae and Josiah Smith
When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25
Where: The Castle, 121 N. Broadway Ave., Rochester
Cost: $28-43, www.mytownmymusic.com