Lisa Loeb, who strummed a guitar into our hearts and begged us to "Stay"—stay, please stay, where are you going? noooo, stayyyyy—never really went anywhere, but she’s back, sort of, with a new album called No Fairy Tale. It’s her tenth album, but her first record for adults in five years. (She released an album for children called Lisa Loeb’s Silly Silly Sing-Along: ‘The Disappointing Pancake’ and Other Zany Songs last year.) While she’s best known for her debut single, which was inclued on the soundtrack for Reality Bites (one of the most ’90s movies to ever ’90s), she’s hardly a one-hit wonder. Don’t you remember "I Do"? I do!
Of course, it’s always tough for musicians to break out of the identities they build with their earliest work, particularly when it’s so associated with the "alternative" (and all it doesn’t mean) from an era currently enjoying a cultural revival. So, of course, Lisa Loeb’s new album features a song call "The ’90s." Loeb opens up to Entertainment Weekly about writing the song:
Chad [Gilbert, New Found Glory guitarist and Loeb’s producer] literally said, “We should write a song about the ’90s,” and I thought “Ugh.” Yes, I was popular in the ’90s, but what am I going to write about the ’90s? I don’t want it to be some cutesy song about the ‘90s, but then I thought I wasn’t sure if my resistance was because I was scared, or what it was. So I tried to write it, and I decided to write it about the specific incident of making the video for “Stay.” About the dress I wore, about my shoes that I wore, and a couple of things I hadn’t been able to express before…
When I first started out, I remember reading press and people would call me a waif, and I felt like I wasn’t being taken seriously as a musician. That felt so strange to me, because that’s what I had done my whole life: Play guitar, write music, play music. I wasn’t this pop singer that appeared out of nowhere, I had been working at this forever. Then when it came to making the video for “Stay,” I had to make the decision: Did I want to go with Ethan Hawke’s idea about a one-take video that would not include my band, or did I want to prove to everybody that I had a rock band and I had been doing this forever? I chose Ethan’s idea of doing it in one take, which I thought was so strong and unique and interesting and told a great story. But now here I am with the song “The ’90s” where I can explain the situation in my specific way that I had a short dress and Betsey Johnson worked with me, and these are the shoes I was wearing, and I didn’t get to go with my band, and I’m not a folkie. I had to keep telling people I wasn’t a folk singer even though I played acoustic guitar. It’s important for me to talk about this time period, which I love, but again as I say exactly in the chorus, I loved it then but I don’t want to go back. Don’t get me wrong, I love talking about it and reminiscing, but I also love moving forward.
Take a listen to "The ’90s" below, via Spotify:
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