Lizzie No: the GOAT on Gender, Tiaras and Leveling Up

Bestie Lizzie No has just released their career-defining new record Halfsies and we are 100% here for it on our 250th episode!! lizzie, who co-hosts Basic Folk, put her entire being, identity and creativity into this project. There’s a lot going on with their main character, the avatar Miss Freedomland, and we’re getting to the bottom of it in our conversation. Our hero’s journey begins even before the main character is born. Her inception grew out of disdain for childhood beauty pageants, which lizzie’s mother actually won back in the early 60’s at a now defunct amusement park called Freedomland. And there are photos of Little Catherine Quinlan with a look of disgust on her five year old face. lizzie grew up with this story and as she got older, she began to think hard about societal expectations and the stock put into women and children’s emotional expression through their faces. Lizzie also grew up hearing and saying the word “No,” hence the stage name.

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Enter Miss Freedomland (also the name of lizzie’s new record label)! She has been tasked with a journey to become free, which will require inner healing, exploration of self-identity and giving up performance of gender that just feels wrong. The album starts with our main character trying to level up (because, yes, this is a video game) with her own self-expression, revisiting past traumas and shedding the baggage and the hot garbage that got her trapped in the first place. In our conversation, we go track by track through this showstopper of a record and even get some solo live performances. I hope you enjoy exploring lizzie’s world as much as I did. These songs are brilliant and the concept executed remarkably. Thanks to Studio 9 in North Adams, MA for the use of their beautiful studio!

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