There is always a hint of menace and reservoirs of force haunting the corners of Eliza Rickman’s voice, whatever register it occupies. Her presence on stage: whether she wears flowers in her hair, or stuffed birds; whether she plays a toy piano or a grand piano; is an enveloping, soft darkness, impossible to ignore.
It has been three years between Rickman’s first album, O, You Sinners, and her newest effort, Footnotes for the Spring. In those intervening three years, Rickman added the autoharp to her repertoire, fought illness and heartbreak (and won), and turned 30. But mostly, she toured. She is a frequent featured musical act for the live rendition of the popular podcast Welcome to Night Vale, a regular opening act for cello rock band Rasputina, and has organized her own successful solo tours in the U.S. and abroad.
Rickman’s voice has the power to hold the smallest grain of sadness, an intimation that the longed-for innocence depicted in her lyrics has slipped just below the glow of the orchestra and out of sight.
Photo by Stevie Mada