First Listen: Liz Brasher, 'Painted Image' The debut album from the Memphis artist offers a uniquely modern take on the Stax and Sun-style soul threaded into her adopted hometown's musical DNA.
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First Listen: Liz Brasher, 'Painted Image'

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First Listen: Liz Brasher, 'Painted Image'

Listen To Full Album

Liz Brasher's debut album Painted Image is out Jan. 18 on Fat Possum Records. Stacie Huckeba /Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Stacie Huckeba /Courtesy of the artist

Liz Brasher's debut album Painted Image is out Jan. 18 on Fat Possum Records.

Stacie Huckeba /Courtesy of the artist

Liz Brasher found her voice while singing in the choir of her all-Spanish church in North Carolina. As she grew older, the singer forged connections with more secular influences, from the Beatles to Delta blues. While living in Chicago, Brasher dove into the world of Southern soul music, an influence that lies at the core of her layered, expansive full-length debut. After relocating to Memphis with a new appreciation for the South and its rich musical history, Brasher tapped into the city's creative scene to mold something of her own.

It's easy to hear Memphis' retro-soul influences threaded throughout Painted Image, which was recorded in the city's historic Ardent, Royal and Electraphonic Recording studios. The pulse of a golden era when Stax and Sun Records were cutting hit after hit beats loudly throughout the record, but Painted Image is far from a resurrection of a bygone era. Brasher's use of sharp and poetic storytelling, often punctuated by biblical imagery, brings an engaging and uniquely modern perspective. It builds impressively on Brasher's 2018 EP Outcast, which followed her induction as one of NPR Music's first Slingshot artists.

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The fiery, unapologetic "Blood of the Lamb" kicks off with a triumphant horn section, rumbling organ and rolling electric guitar as Brasher speaks her truth: "I am dressed in black / I walk in white," she sings. "Thoughts unclean / I speak of light / Who are you to tell me who I am?"

Backed by an expertly arranged string section, "Cold Baby" showcases Brasher's innate ability to project a complicated mix of human emotions onto a shimmering and complex vocal performance. She dives into overwhelming love and devotion in the blissful "Air," while the groove-driven "Body of Mine" explores themes of mortality while embracing the unknown. The record closes with Painted Image's simmering title track, which picks through the ashes of a dying relationship. Even at her most uplifting, Brasher isn't afraid to explore and accept life's darker moments.

All of these elements come together in Brasher's ardent, echoing vocals, as she thoughtfully dissects an array of sounds and styles, from fierce rock and roll to melodic gospel devotionals. At every turn, Painted Image finds beauty in the fragility and conflict inherent to the human condition.

Liz Brasher's debut album Painted Image is out Jan. 18 on Fat Possum Records. Stacie Huckeba /Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption
Stacie Huckeba /Courtesy of the artist

Liz Brasher's debut album Painted Image is out Jan. 18 on Fat Possum Records.

Stacie Huckeba /Courtesy of the artist

First Listen: Liz Brasher, 'Painted Image'

01Blood Of The Lamb

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    Song
    Blood Of The Lamb
    Album
    Painted Image
    Artist
    Liz Brasher
    Label
    Fat Possum Records
    Released
    2019

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Song
Painted Image
Album
Painted Image
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Liz Brasher
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Fat Possum Records
Released
2019

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02Body Of Mine

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    Song
    Body Of Mine
    Album
    Painted Image
    Artist
    Liz Brasher
    Label
    Fat Possum Records
    Released
    2019

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Painted Image
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Painted Image
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Liz Brasher
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2019

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03Every Day

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    Song
    Every Day
    Album
    Painted Image
    Artist
    Liz Brasher
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    Fat Possum Records
    Released
    2019

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Painted Image
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Painted Image
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2019

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04Air

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    Song
    Air
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    Painted Image
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    Liz Brasher
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    Fat Possum Records
    Released
    2019

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Painted Image
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Painted Image
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2019

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05Moon Baby

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    Song
    Moon Baby
    Album
    Painted Image
    Artist
    Liz Brasher
    Label
    Fat Possum Records
    Released
    2019

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Painted Image
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Painted Image
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Liz Brasher
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Fat Possum Records
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2019

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06Hand To The Plow

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    Song
    Hand To The Plow
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    Painted Image
    Artist
    Liz Brasher
    Label
    Fat Possum Records
    Released
    2019

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Painted Image
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Painted Image
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Liz Brasher
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Fat Possum Records
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2019

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07Cold Baby

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    Cold Baby
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    Painted Image
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    Liz Brasher
    Label
    Fat Possum Records
    Released
    2019

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Painted Image
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Painted Image
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Liz Brasher
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2019

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08Living Water

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    Song
    Living Water
    Album
    Painted Image
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    Liz Brasher
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    Fat Possum Records
    Released
    2019

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Painted Image
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2019

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09Love Feasts

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    Song
    Love Feasts
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    Painted Image
    Artist
    Liz Brasher
    Label
    Fat Possum Records
    Released
    2019

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Painted Image
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Fat Possum Records
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2019

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10Heaven And Earth

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    Song
    Heaven And Earth
    Album
    Painted Image
    Artist
    Liz Brasher
    Label
    Fat Possum Records
    Released
    2019

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Painted Image
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Liz Brasher
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Fat Possum Records
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2019

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11Painted Image

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    Song
    Painted Image
    Album
    Painted Image
    Artist
    Liz Brasher
    Label
    Fat Possum Records
    Released
    2019

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Song
Painted Image
Album
Painted Image
Artist
Liz Brasher
Label
Fat Possum Records
Released
2019

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