Liza Anne didn’t just emerge in the indie-rock scene — she exploded. And the former Belmont student wants to savor every moment of the experience.
“The thing that stuck with me most was in the first class of my first semester at Belmont,” she said. “It was a creative writing class, and within the first 10 minutes the professor pulled up a quote that said, ‘Become a person upon whom nothing is lost.’”
That sentiment stayed with her, and it’s reflected in the care she puts into every aspect of her work.
“As a writer, your job is just to peer into everything and not let anything be lost on you. It’s become such a fundamental part of how I view the world, and I don’t know who I would be without that small lesson.”
Anne, whose full name is Elizabeth Anne Odachowski, is experiencing a period of rapid growth — with over 1 million monthly listeners on Spotify and glowing reviews of her recent work.
“I wanted people to have multiple doors into my work to make it pretty impossible for people to misunderstand it. I want things to kind of emulate what it feels like when I’m performing them.”
Anne’s music rests in duality. Even the title of her most recent album, “Fine but Dying,” showcases her ability to embrace the in-between. The album tackles issues of mental health and the female experience head on.
“When I wasn’t speaking out, it made me feel weak and fragmented and stifled,” she said. “So I found that the moment I started to become vulnerable was the moment I started to become strong. Those words are almost interchangeable for me — one can’t really exist without the other.”
Anne’s openness also extends to her sometimes complicated relationship with religion. After growing up in a sheltered town in Georgia, she found the freedom to question some of her experiences when she came to Nashville.
“Belmont didn’t force anything on me. I felt encouraged to explore and tear apart my fundamentalist upbringing in a safe space,” she said. “I think I started to really understand things when I realized there was no absolute nature to it.”
Although she no longer affiliates herself with an organized religion, Anne is still a deeply spiritual person, and she credits her time at Belmont with helping her to develop that spirituality.
“The friendships and connections I made at Belmont were really formative. That sort of questioning was a common denominator just below the surface,” she said. “We don’t all believe the same thing, but we’re all moving and progressing and viewing everything in a fluid motion.”
Anne came to Belmont in the fall of 2012 and studied songwriting for 2 years. She decided to leave when in-class concepts turned into real-world opportunities.
“I played at the Curb Cafe and all the things that you maybe should do, but what started it for me was when I self-booked Thursday to Monday tours around Nashville,” she said. “Suddenly I’d be gone for two weeks or more, and it got to be a little too much for the two to coexist.”
Instead of studying the inner workings of the industry, she was putting that insight to use, but her grades began to slip because of the absences.
“The music business classes were helpful because I wasn’t being thrown into situations with just my guitar and my songs,” she said. “I had to make sure I was very business-y in the first few years just to make sure this could be an actual career.”
The combination of her business mindset and her talent for weaving words together led faculty members to encourage her to take the risk.
“My adviser, Drew Ramsey, said ‘Liza, you’re kind of doing this thing. You can always come back to college. I really think you can handle what you’re dreaming of.’ That’s why I left Belmont,” she said. “I want to go back and study philosophy at some point though. That’s really all I do in my spare time now.”
In that limited free time, she also makes self-care a priority.
“I like to turn off my phone and walk everywhere. I live in Hillsboro Village so I go to Bongo like it’s my religion. I just full-on nest when I get home. I take so many baths.”
She even makes time to look into one of Belmont’s hottest topics at the moment — the Enneagram.
“I’m a type 4 with a 3 wing, and I’m definitely the poster child of that experience. I’m just very individualistic and on my worst days I can isolate myself and convince myself that no one understands me. But my 3-ness is what makes me turn that into my livelihood.”
Anne is charging full speed into the music scene, and she shows no signs of slowing down. She plans to tour into 2019 and just finished writing her next project.
Catch her at her next Nashville show on June 30 at Musician’s Corner.
Photo courtesy of Shore Fire Media