Why You Runnin'

Lissie Maurus calls Los Angeles home, but her heart—and her voice—comes straight from the country. On this debut EP, the freckle-faced frontwoman belts out some serious southern swagger and boot-stomping soul with pipes as memorable as Neko Case's.

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In fact, opener "Little Lovin'" features that gorgeous, ringing reverb that's become a signature part of Case's songs. But once this hand-clapping, revivalist track hits its harmonious climax, Maurus moves quickly out of the comparison with a brooding cover of Hank Williams' "Wedding Bells." In a nice, smart touch, she switches the lyrics to reflect a woman's perspective. A piano ballad, "On Mississippi," doesn't hit the same high notes, but another original, "Everywhere I Go," brilliantly features Maurus' lilting voice against a sparse backdrop of tambourine and guitar (she saves a little more for the end). It may be the best song on the EP.

No matter how each of these five songs comes together, Maurus' voice manages to stand out. She consistently finds the type of memorable delivery—strong and powerful in one moment, with a bucket full of vulnerable the next—that assures you'll hear more from her in the near future.

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