liz tormes

liz tormes

BandAmericana

"Strains of Britpop, garage rock and country slyly slink through Tormes' sparse, gothic-leaning debut. The NYC-by-way-of-Nashville singer-songwriter possesses a gorgeous, soulful voice." - No Depression

Biography

Chapter One - An Auspicious Beginning
Liz moved from Nashville to NYC with a camera, a dog named Loretta, a bunny named Ola Belle and a boy who shall remain nameless (forever, so don't ask). Jack-knifing her Jeep in the Black Mountains at midnight (carrying said dog and bunny and nearly killing them all) while hauling her belongs behind her did nothing to deter her from the move. Said boy had the foresight to fly to the city. True story.
Once in Gotham City, she was suckered by said boy into a weekly gig playing rhythm guitar in his unorthodox string band. To appreciate the absurdity of the situation, you should know that Liz was not a musician, but had been recruited into the band for her innate sense of musical timing ("These Yankees don't have any sense of rhythm!", screamed frustrated said boy) . Not knowing how to finger chords, she stuck a playing card between the neck and the strings of an old junk-store guitar, laying down a raw backbeat. The band began to get a bit of a buzz. They landed on the cover of the Arts section of The New York Times, but all was not well behind the scenes. Liz quickly left the frustrated boy and sadly, the band. She took with her the camera, the dog, (and this time, an archtop guitar!!) - moving from one overpriced apartment in SoHo to another overpriced apartment in the East Village. Bunny Ola Belle is buried illegally somewhere on Sullivan Street . True story - don't tell anyone.
Missing the weekly gig (and the free drink tickets) Liz began to teach herself guitar and started singing and writing songs about said boy (the first song, anyway). She was asked by pianist Bob Packwood to start a band and they recruited fiddler Diane Stockwell. They covered early roots songs, murder ballads, and other uplifting numbers. They called themselves 'The Misery Trio' - go figure. Alas, it was short lived, as Liz started writing lots of songs about her very own miseries and the trio thing (though amazing) became a little confining.

Chapter Two - A Scorcher and a Wilco-er
Over a period of time while out and about in the bars of the East Village, repeated runs ins with her friend from Nashville, Ken Coomer (drummer for Wilco at the time), kept happening. Though her knew her as a photographer, he would inquire what she had been up to during those odd run-ins. "I have actually started playing music", Liz sheepishly replied. This led to Ken eventually inviting her to his Nashville home to record. She recorded several songs in his attic and living room with him & Jeff Johnson (of Jason and the Scorchers). Liz signed a production deal with the two and thought she was on the fast-track to stardom. Aside from having one song placed in an indie film screened only in France and Germany (seriously, it did show there), this went nowhere.

Chapter Three - Still with us?
Bueno! After spending a couple uneventful years playing gigs around town, Liz realized she would have to make a record on her own. She recorded it in Brooklyn with some amazing players and released it on her own, silk-screening the cover in her over-priced East Village kitchen and burning the CD-R's in her bedroom in the wee hours with help of Loretta the Dog (yes, she was thanked on the liner notes) This record is called Limelight. You need it and will love it. True story.

Lyrics

Read My Mind

Written By: Liz Tormes

you move in slow motion
as the waves break & sigh
we all have a star to follow
and you are mine
you were standing in the raw sun
still aching from the glow
i was watching from a distance
as the amber light did go
and i want you to read my mind, dear...

through the wind in vain i called your name
you would not hear
then i knew i'd lost you
the words still ring in my ear
and i want you to read my mind, dear.

I want you to read my mind, dear
like in fairytales i know
and symphonies of pretty things
i heard sometime ago

now you speak in slow motion
as my dreams break inside
i chose the wrong star to follow
and you were mine.
i was bitter under blue sky
A red moment in the sun
reminded of the simple fact
that sad men always run
and i want you to read my mind dear

I want you to read my mind, dear
like in fairytales i know
and symphonies of childhood dreams
i lost sometime ago
yes i want you to read my mind, dear
never hopeful for the trust
i know the sand i stand on
turns as fast as ships do rust

I want you to read my mind, dear
I want you to read my mind

Without Truth

Written By: Liz Tormes

well there's a million reasons not to
and just one to follow through
life- it has no meaning without truth

there's not a sound as loud as silence
it's a thing I can't explain
like the sun and the rain

so let's keep it on the surface now
before it gets too deep
and I wonder do the devils laugh
just as the angels weep?

tonight a stranger whispered
long-forgotten memories in my ear
about joy & pain

I've got a thousand things to tell you now
before the night does fly
i don't want to live forever
but I never want to die

unsentimentally I'm feeling
and i know you can relate
but all I really want you to do
is fly right and land straight

well there's a million reasons not to
and just one to follow through
life- it has no meaning without truth

Limelight

Written By: Liz Tormes

limelight

go to the light that you want to be lime
i'm tired of my roses- i've been wasting my time
wounded by memories- my ring never shines
so go to the light that you want to be lime

remember the days when you called yourself mine?
it's in the old pictures- frozen in time
now darkness surrounds me- my sun never shines
so go to the light that you want to be lime

it's one of those things that life makes you learn
the things which were charred deserved to be burned
my pockets are empty- you took my last dime
so go to the light that you want to be lime

Maybe You Won't

Written By: Liz Tormes

do i keep this memory
do i keep on staying
do i quit this game now
or do i keep on playing?

and i lie in bed, still
and i keep on saying
is it ever coming
have i been forsaken?

do i keep on guessing
the mystery's always changing
happiness is fleeting
and it keeps on fading

do you lie in bed, still
do your hands keep praying,
is it ever coming
will i be forsaken?

maybe you won't
maybe you won't

Better Days

Written By: Liz Tormes

Can I have better days?
Let them come, let them come
The icing on my cake is bittersweet
There's honey in the air mixed with the sounds of the sea
It's not that I don't wanna be your girl
I just don't want to be

So you must promise one thing -
Just tell me how it ends
It's just us and your dreaded honesty
We sit here in our silence as we listen to the band
I'm staring at an empty finger on my empty hand

The sun has slipped behind the waves
And there's no turning back
I want to sleep and I don't want to wake
Tomorrow if you're lonesome to catch a glimpse of me
Just watch my black tears rise up from the bottom of the sea

Black Luck

Written By: Liz Tormes

I cover my eyes not to see you
I cover my ears not to hear you
but I can't quiet my mind
and my heart won't let me forget

and if they told me that you'd be the one
I wouldn't have believed them

remember the days in the city
the sky all white with haze?
I told you you'd be leaving
you told me I was crazy
and if they told me that you'd be the one
I wouldn't have believed them, no

I came into this world alone, I'll go out of this world alone
but I've got sometime in between
I've been running with this black luck
I feel I can't escape it
cause my sorrow seeps in my dreams

I cover my eyes not to see you
I cover my ears not to hear you
but I can't quiet my mind
and my heart won't let me forget
and if they told me that you'd be the one
I wouldn't have believed them

his voice was calm, yet frantic
had my back turned to the panic
when I heard the key in the latch
he said your eyes are black as hell
and I replied"That's just as well-
I've got a heart to match"

I wouldn't quite call you a thief
and I wouldn't quite call you a saint
there's things that I am and there's things that I ain't
and my heart won't let me forget

Fall Silent

Written By: Liz Tormes

fall silent

it's not from a lack of want
i'm just careful where i spend my time
keep on coming round the bend
cause i will feel better when your hand's in mine

it's not from a lack of need
don't got anything
feel all these changes taking place
and I will feel better when i see your face

don't forget i'm inspired by love
though the devil's below me
i got angels above
i know it's not for me to say
you fall silent just say my name

Don't Love Back

Written By: Liz Tormes

How much time must pass
Til it's just a memory?
I count the nights & days
It just adds up to me
I'm drowning in un-given love

Archival thoughts, they take control
And write my dreams
Flying at night, cutting the sky with silver wings
Drowning in un-given love

So face the wind and stay on track
Stop loving things that don't love back
You can't control the outcome all the time
You disappear and re-appear
Your game of hide and seek with fear
Is ruining the beauty of design

Silver-black-white September night, forgotten friends
The lonely muse, she's come
To sit with me again
We're drowning in un-given love

She says, face the wind and stay on track
Stop loving things that don't love back
You can't control the outcome all the time
You disappear and re-appear
Your game of hide and seek with fear
Is ruining the beauty of design

She says, face the wind and stay on track
Stop loving things that don't love back
You can't control the outcome all the time
You disappear and re-appear
Your game of hide and seek with fear
Is ruining the beauty of design

She says, face the wind and stay on track
Stop loving things that don't love back
Stop loving things that don't love back
Stop loving things that don't love back
Stop loving things that don't love back

Written September 11

Sorry

Written By: Liz Tormes

You don't know me
It's just what they told you
The things you gave me
I did not want from you

Your paper posies and shiny things
Don't make the earth rotate to me
I've wished it at times, love's not blind
And I can't get past the feeling I left you behind

And I'm sorry for the heartache -if I caused you pain
And I'm sorry for the heartache -if I am to blame

Well I've known you for a while now
Yes I come and go
Well I'll stay to play in your sunshine
And vanish in the shadows

But I'm sorry for the heartache -if I caused you pain
And I'm sorry for the heartache -if I am to blame

You don't know me
It's just what they told you
The things you gave me
I did not want from you

Your paper posies and shiny things
Don't make the earth rotate to me
I've wished it at times, love's not blind
And I can't get past the feeling I left you behind

Sorry for the heartache -if I caused you pain
And i'm sorry for the heartache -if I am to blame

Fade Away

Written By: Liz Tormes

fade away

fade away like the colors in the sea
fade away like your memories of me
i'm as straight as an arrow
but you want a pretty maze

you went away-just like before
i don't even know you anymore
i've seen desperate eyes before
but this time they're mine

cry, love,cry

this darkness has been a friend to me
surround myself with doubt and self pity
i found my silver lining
but your sun is setting soon

cry love, cry

Discography

Limelight- EP

Set List

10 songs typically. Covers too, some 80's new wave hits and Murder Ballads