Wildcard (week 17):
Lissie – Hey Boy

We all know about Prince’s world famous vault, where he presumably stacked even more music than he officially put out. Obviously, more artists (probably most of them) sometimes record material they eventually don’t release. I presume when a recording is shelved, there’s a good reason to do so. Because it’s crap, for instance. All too often, these sessions end up on box sets, ‘Deluxe Editions’, ‘Expanded Versions’ or ‘Anniversary Editions’. Such a shame…

That being said, there may also be other reasons to hold a release. When a track doesn’t fit the sound or feel of the other songs that make up an album, for instance. However, in some cases it’s impossible to imagine why a song wasn’t issued before. Lissie’s ‘new’ single Hey Boy is such a track…

The American singer-songwriter rediscovered the song when she went through her archives recently. She browsed her old recordings on behalf of two upcoming projects:  the Anniversary Edition (whaaa!!) of her 2010 breakthrough album Catching A Tiger (which will be out 25 June) and Watch Over Me (Early Works 2002-2009), an album compiling nine highlights from her formative years as a songwriter (out 23 July). Both will feature lots of cult fan favourites and previously unreleased material.

The latter album is now previewed by the previously unreleased song Hey Boy. It’s a raw and rootsy folk-rocker with an intense and bluesy vocal performance. The track, written circa 2003, finds Lissie criticising the sexism and misogyny that she faced as a young female artist.

She recalls: “When I was in college, I was out seeing live music almost every night. I would play open mics and eventually get to open up for touring acts that passed through town. There was a crew of musician guys who always seemed to mock me and my lyrics, trashed my posters around town and who insinuated that the only reason I was getting opportunities was because I was a silly young woman who was a flirt. That strangely felt like a normal thing to have to deal with then, so I just shrugged it off and kept going. (…) It seems like this is now changing for the better.”

This week, Hey Boy by Lissie is the Carte Blanche Music Wildcard. Deservedly, this finally unearthed gem will feature prominently at the top of this blog for a whole week.

Recommended as well:
Lissie – Love Blows
Lissie – Best Days

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In the Wildcards 2021 playlist you’ll find all of this year’s Carte Blanche Music Wildcards so far.

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