According to astrology, Saturn returns to its position in the sky when a person is born every 27 to 29 years. It is said that a person’s return of Saturn accompanies many major life changes, such as divorces or career changes, that propel a person into adulthood.
Liz Cooper, the singer-songwriter who previously released music under the band name Liz Cooper & The Stampede, is living her Saturn Return. She is 29 and says the past two years have been the most emotionally tumultuous of her life so far. But she comes out on the other side of Saturn with a stronger sense of self, and an album to go with it. September 3, Cooper’s album Hot panty was released on Thirty Tigers Records.
Hot panty is the sequel to the Coopers 2018 album Window flowers, which received rave reviews for its groovy combination of folk and psychedelia. The titles of these two projects suggest their essential difference: in Hot panty, Cooper abandons the banjo and the ambiance for a more advanced psych-rock sound. The title song announces itself with guitars, establishing Cooper as a riot girl. Eight-minute songs like “Lucky Charm” include many interludes reminiscent of The Doors.
When Cooper wrote the record in 2019, she was nearing the end of her Window flowers to visit. She struggled, trying to conform to the expectations of a culture that favored production over sanity. She got fed up. She was tired of giving in to the wishes of others and expressed this dissatisfaction in her songwriting.
“I pushed myself too far, and for what? Cooper asks. “I’m just trying to find a balance. There is more to life than doing this.
Cooper moved to Nashville to start Liz Cooper and the stampede when she was 19. According to Cooper, the band’s name originated after she absorbed the Nashville culture. She loves old country music – “these are the OG emo records,” she says – but over the years she feels more and more that the name of the band confined her to country and Americana. . A horse rush doesn’t scream psychedelic rock.
“I love my group,” says Cooper. “I trust them very much and they worked very hard on this record, I didn’t want to hide behind the name anymore.”
After consulting with his group – consisting of Ryan Usher, Joe Bisirri and Michael Libramento – they agreed to drop the nickname and its connotations. They took Hot panty in Burlington, Vermont, to work with producer Benny Yurco (Michael Nau).
Thereby, Hot panty is both a moment in Cooper’s personal development and in the musical evolution of the group.
Hot panty is, according to Cooper, “this insanity that I was more comfortable accepting and loving, this attitude that I have and that I was hiding from.” It’s that confidence and that sensuality, that’s something I’ve always been very afraid of. It’s me who learns what kind of woman I am and it’s not pretty all the time. It’s not that thing you can put in a box.
One would expect this confidence and assurance to inspire more and more commentary on current events. But since the record ended in 2019, Cooper has redirected creative attention to painting and the piano. Public figures, especially musicians, are often expected to have something to say about the situation. But Cooper doesn’t feel ready to make any statements – she’s still figuring out herself.
“I don’t always have something to say,” she said. “There’s still so much going on, and I don’t feel like I organized my thoughts enough to put them on paper. I keep a journal, but I mostly enjoyed painting because it’s physical. “
“It’s just another way of exposing my innards, which scares me but also makes me feel whole and healed. I love to paint because I don’t feel any pressure from myself or anyone else. It’s just fun and it’s pure. Purely expressive.