Lizabett Russo: “Running With the Wolves” (Debut Album Review)

Muruch first introduced you to Romanian-born, Scotland-based singer-songwriter Lizabett Russo two years ago as part of our Surfacing series. Lizabett was one of our more memorable undiscovered artists and her new debut full-length, Running With the Wolves, more than lives up to the extraordinary potential we heard in those first three songs.

From the haunting opener “You May Go Further and Find Worse” through softer folk ballads like “Surrender” and more quirky delights like “Love Me No Matter What,” Running With the Wolves is a nonstop surprise and pleasure.

Lizabett’s supernatural voice is as multi-faceted and multi-genre as her intricately orchestrated music. She can cram the vocal styles of Sia, Melody Gardot, My Brightest Diamond, Regina Spektor and Joan Baez into a single note, particularly in the moody ballad “I’ve Been Waiting” and the gorgeous finale “River Bridge.” Not mention the mindblowingly wide range of songs she’s covered live.

Lizabett Russo’s debut album, Running With the Wolves, is an exquisite collection of some of the most beautiful and innovative songs ever recorded.

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Lizabett Russo Official Site

Mary Lambert: Heart On My Sleeve

Mary Lambert’s debut full-length album is aptly titled Heart On My Sleeve. The Seattle singer-songwriter, who garnered national attention for her “Same Love” collaboration and Grammy performance with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, is not one to shy away from baring her heart through her lyrics. It was her own gut-wrenching song “I Know Girls (Body Love)” that first captured our attention here at Muruch and we’re loving her debut album.



Much of the album contains peppy pop tracks in the vein of Sara Bareilles, such as the opener and first single, “Secrets.” I prefer Mary’s big voice and piano playing (which rival Allison Crowe and Tori Amos) without so much polish, but her unabashedly confessional lyrics continue to set her far apart from other artists.

The album truly comes alive and showcases Mary’s extraordinary poetic talent with the beautiful spoken word “Dear One,” which melts exquisitely into the equally enchanting love song “When You Sleep.”

She transforms Rick Springfield’s classic uptempo pop song “Jessie’s Girl” into a pretty piano ballad. Her yearnful, gorgeously multi-faceted soprano adds new dimensions to the unrequited love anthem.

Angel Haze and K.Flay guest on the track “Ribcage” and the solo tracks “So Far Away” and “Monochromatic” are the standouts among the pop songs.

Yet it’s the album’s more quiet, wistful moments that grab the heart and make Mary’s music so compelling. I only wish that heartfelt acoustic side had been explored a bit further and that “I Know Girls (Body Love) had been included. Granted the song was previously released on EP, but Mary’s full-length debut is her true introduction to the world at large in the post-Grammys limelight. Thankfully the finale, “Sum of Our Parts” plays like a triumphant self-acceptance sequel to “Body Love.”

Mary Lambert’s Heart On My Sleeve is one of the stronger debuts of recent years and will definitely be on my best of the year list. Mary Lambert deserves to be a star and the world needs to hear her spectacular music and poetry.

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Mary Lambert Official Site