Pop music needs more former-folk songwriters to fall into the fold. There’s a sense of vulnerability that courses through the veins of folk music that really comes to life when married to more traditional pop sensibilities — we’ve recently seen it work with the incredibly smooth stylings of sister-act Haim and the hypnotic pop of Maggie Rogers. Now, I want you to imagine that this uncrowned royal family of pop sat down with Julien Baker to write some of the most impassioned and gut-wrenching pop songs that you’ve ever heard. Just imagine the emotions running rampant through your body as you cave into a rhythm so intrinsic that it would feel blasphemous not to dance too. OR strap in and listen to the incredible duo that is Liis.
The duo is gearing up to release an EP later this Spring, and I couldn’t be more excited to share the first single to come from the release. “Thief” is a haunting piece of pop-music that borrows from the emotional disparity that radiates through the catalogs of acts like Julien Baker and Phoebe Bridgers before folding into something that feels 100% Liis. The cold and somber vocals echoing over a mournfully strummed guitar begin to truly erupt once the drums kick in and send you right into the most euphoric trance that a pop-song has ever put you in.
The track hits its peak around a haunting passage of “You’re not the first to have planned this delicate sucker-punch that you’re looking to land/and I’ll know your every move/by the time you talk your body into following through” that comes with a delivery so powerful it will warm your heart before piercing it. It’s a beautiful and tragic bit of story-telling that still moves me whenever I hear it.
When asked about the track, Liis says: “Thief is representative of this collection – both subject-wise and sonically. It was written in tandem with the title track for the EP, so you get pieces of the same story weaved throughout. With this batch of songs we stepped away from some of our former folk elements and leaned further into the pop side – it was this first track where I approached writing it with the electric guitar. We’ve really fallen down the rabbit hole of tone and guitar pedals over the last year and it’s been a really fun thing to explore.”
You can stream “Thief” below.