The three-piece psychedelic folk-rock band Liz Cooper & The Stampede will continue their lengthy headline tour through 2019 with a stop at The Basement East this Thursday, April 4.
The band has been hitting the road hard since the release of their full-length debut album, Window Flowers, which was released in August 2018 on the band’s label, Sleepyhead Records, via Thirty Tigers.
Window Flowers was recorded at Welcome to 1979 in Nashville with co-production from TJ Elias. “This is the first time I’d ever gone into a real studio and made something with someone like TJ, somebody that approached us about making a record and was interested in what we were doing,” says Cooper. “We just dove in and worked on this record, and I’m happy with how it turned it out. It’s always one of those things where you’ve learned a lot from making the record, and you’re like, ‘Oh, there’s a lot that I would change or do differently now,’ but that’s just kind of the growth of music which is really fun.”
“It [Welcome to 1979] was the place where we wanted to go and record. It’s such a beautiful studio, I had been there to check it out, and I just loved the vibe of it and everything it had to offer,” explains Cooper. “My bass player Grant went to Belmont at the time, and he had taken some classes and had been involved in some stuff at Welcome to 1979, and he knew a little bit more about it than I did, and basically the general consensus from everyone was that recording there was the right thing to do.”
Cooper categorizes the process of song selection to the choice album title and the theme of the record as “organic.”
The 11 tracks chosen for the album fell into place for Cooper through many days spent on the road and in front of audiences. “We had been touring forever, and I knew all along that those were the songs that I wanted to be on the record. We had been testing them out while touring and getting a good response from people. They seemed to be the right flow and vibe, the whole thing is very organic,” says Cooper.
In regard to a favorite track on the record Cooper chooses “Fondly & Forever.” “I like the sound, there’s a little bit of this lo-fi thing happening, it closes and opens with these sounds,” explains Cooper. “I wrote it with my friends Michael and Ben Ford, they came in and did the background vocals and played guitar on it in the studio. That one feels really good to me when I’m listening to it on the record.”
Following a pattern, the album title Window Flowers also naturally fell into place for Cooper. “There’s a theme throughout the record of flowers, it was unintentional and going through the record it was just one of those things that organically happened,” says Cooper.
Then, there’s also the tie-in of the far-out floral jumpsuit Cooper is rocking in a photo on the album, which coincidentally took over the theme of the album artwork. “I found that jumpsuit at a thrift store,” says Cooper. “I didn’t get it for anything other than this show I was playing at the Basement East with Bermuda Triangle, and they were all wearing these Hawaiian shirts, and I wanted a Hawaiian thing to wear, and I found that. I was like ‘This thing is ridiculous,’ so I bought it for that show and all the sudden it turned into kind of everything that was for the record and the brand.”
Cooper has called Nashville home for almost nine years. The folk-rocker grew up in Baltimore, Maryland later attending Towson University on a full athletic scholarship for golf, but after her freshmen year left to pursue a musician’s path in Nashville. “Music was calling me, and I just felt like I was really burnt out on doing what I was doing,” says Cooper. “I wasn’t super passionate about playing golf, and I didn’t really know what I wanted to do in college. I decided instead of continuing on and getting a degree in something I may or may not use and wasting money; I felt like music was my calling and I was supposed to go do something with it. I grew up playing guitar and singing when I was like 16, but I always loved music, and by the time I was going to college it was saving my life, and I was like ‘This is what I’m going to do.’
New Madrid and Dan Luke and the Raid are joining the bill with Liz Cooper and the Stampede this Thursday at The Basement East. Click here to purchase tickets.