As its title states, Liz Longley says goodbye to her past and to a bad relationship on her seventh studio album, Funeral for My Past. On “Fine,” she makes peace with what’s behind her — “you and me, can we agree, the best thing that we ever did was say goodbye?” she sings — and, similarly, on the title track, she sets herself free: “Every day I tried to fight it, but my demons always won ’til I stopped fighting, ’til I let the light in.” But while funerals are usually tied to grief, Longley doesn’t submerge her record in melancholia. Instead, Funeral for My Past feels like a celebration of life.
Made with the support of a very successful Kickstarter campaign — Longley’s fans raised $150,000, more than three times her $45,000 goal — Funeral for My Past is a balance between gritty and tender sounds. Longley mixes twangy songs (like the acoustic ballad “Get to Know Someone”) and scruffy pop-rock that could soundtrack a major movie (or real-life) moment. It’s the roaring bonfire you throw everything that’s tied to bad memories into, but it’s also the sizzling, smoky embers when the flames die down.
While Longley meditates on the past throughout the record, she is also thankful for the present. Her voice does somersaults over the steady guitar chugs of “Send You My Love,” a declarative opening statement that finds Longley longing for a special somebody. In the next track, “Feel It All Over,” this special somebody — Longley’s fiancé — is the focus again and their touch is electric.
Longley reaches new heights on “Finally High.” The song begins with quiet confessions: “I’ve been going to therapy,” she sings. “I’ve been meditating every day in the woods, saged every corner of this house.” As she makes these admissions, she grows louder until the song reaches an energetic, miraculous guitar-powered peak. “I’m finally high above it,” Longley concludes as she shakes off the weight of her past and floats away to greener pastures.