Vacations can be the best or the worst. Either all glorious sunsets and good conversations, or mosquito bites and weird moods that leave you dying to go home. A bit like being in love. This is the premise of Georgia-born singer-songwriter Liza Anne's new single, "Bad Vacation."
It's a dark humored, catchy song with a killer bassline. "You were a long bad vacation/ Hotel with a view but I just stayed in," she sings. Later: "You were like sand in my ice cream/ It was a long trip to see the same shit." The song plays around with ironic surf-rock guitar hooks, before the bad vacation comes to a head. Everything melts down into a chaotic explosion as Liza fantasizes about blowing the ceiling off a shitty hotel. Her vocals travel between a low sultry strain, and a freaked out falsetto, adding to the tension.
Liza is fresh off the release of her March single "Desire," which follows her 2018 album, Fine But Dying. If you like bright hooks and sharp, funny reflections on romance, check it out.
"It feels like a strange time to release music but an even stranger time not to," says Liza. "Writing this song was a mental playground for me: turning pain into satire and imaging a hope-filled world with no ceilings. I wanted to bottle up that electricity that happens when you're free of something taxing."
Since, in light of the global pandemic, no one can go on vacation right now (good, bad or otherwise), Liza put together her best tips for making your "staycation" as pleasant as possible.
Liza Anne's Tips To Avoid a Bad Staycation
[a list of hints that could add something new to the repetitive cycle that has come from this global stay-in-place]
1. Stretch your body. Breathe in for 7 seconds, hold for a moment, breathe out for another 7. Repeat.
2. Lay on your floor (or some grass if you can!) and listen to one of your favorite records all the way through. Don't let anything interrupt it.
Recommendations: Joni Mitchell's Blue, Margo Gruyan's Take A Picture, Great Grandpa's Four of Arrows, Madison Cunningham's Who Are You Now, Angel Olsen's Half Way Home.
3. Read a little bit each day.
Recommendations: Anne Lindbergh's Gift From The Sea or Patti Smith's Year Of The Monkey or (I'm starting this now) Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.
4. Play dress up in all you'd wear if you were going to leave the house! Remember being a kid! Turn on Natasha Bedingfield! Dance! LET LOOSE!
5. Learn something new! Painting, speaking French, writing short stories, playing an instrument, baking bread, some choreography, how to start a tiny garden in your window, etc.
6. Take a really nice long walk! Move your body! Listen to your new favorite song that just so happened to come out today ;) (okay, it's my song and this is my cheeky plug for "Bad Vacation," go listen!)
7. Watch PEN15. Again.
8. Set a screen time limit and keep it. And when you inevitably are clumsy, forgive yourself. And then maybe think of other things you can forgive yourself for, work through them one at a time. You have nothing but time. Why not come out on the other side of this kinder to yourself?
9. Make a list of people you love and why and send them a postcard or maybe flowers.
10. Write every day as much and with as little pressure on it as you can. A sentence is fine. Maybe a few words. Just a time capsule of "I lived, I felt this and this is what that looked like today."
Photo courtesy of Brett Warren