With a new album out Feb. 28, Lisa Loeb just wants to live in the moment – The Dallas Morning News

Posted: February 27, 2020 at 12:48 am


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Ive spent a lot of my life trying to write songs that were mysterious, Lisa Loeb says. But now, she says, she tries to be more direct in her songwriting.

This strawberry cake is speaking to me, Lisa Loeb says. Anything that pink has got to be good.

The singer-songwriter resplendent in a fuzzy pink angora cardigan and her trademark cat-eye glasses is scanning the bakery display at the Garden Tea Room, a tiny caf tucked inside Forestwood Antique Mall, not far from where she grew up in North Dallas.

When her cake slice arrives, she instinctively snaps a photo and posts it on Instagram. Minutes later, shes second-guessing the post and cooks up a theory that Instagram should be more like the 70s board game Perfection: If you linger too long, the board springs up and all the pieces fly out.

With social media, its too easy for me to go down the rabbit hole, she says in her rapid-fire style of talking. Im still trying to get the balance right and just be in the moment.

Finding the holy grail of lifes perfect balance drives most of the songs on A Simple Trick to Happiness, Loebs 15th album, due out Feb. 28.

The title is partly a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the click-bait inspirational articles that litter social media today. But mostly, shes being serious. In all her years as a musician, childrens performer, actor, entrepreneur, mother and wife, Loeb has racked up a lot of wisdom on how to be a happy, well-adjusted human being.

Ive been in many situations relationships, business situations where I felt such responsibility to the other person I forget to look at what I needed, she says. I forgot its sometimes good to just walk away.

The 51-year-old L.A.-based singer is talking about Doesnt It Feel Good, the leadoff track on A Simple Trick to Happiness, an album filled with lyrics about self-awareness, resilience and the importance of making positive changes in your life.

After graduating from Dallas Hockaday School and Brown University, Loeb studied psychology in graduate school before shooting to the top of the charts with Stay, her wistful ballad from the 1994 film Reality Bites. Today, Loeb wishes shed finished her grad degree, but she says shes learned more from talking to fans than she ever did in school.

I loved studying the physiology of the brain, but over the years I realized the more important thing is how we connect to each other, she says. Its like Oprah: Fans tell me their stories about what motivates them and it inspires me to write songs people can carry around with them, like Post-it Notes you can stick on your mirror.

Happiness which Loeb calls her most personal and focused album was also sparked by her side career as a childrens performer. After winning her first Grammy in 2018 for the childrens album Feel What U Feel, Loeb realized all her tunes should be as direct as her songs for kids, many of which she co-wrote with fellow songwriters.

Ive spent a lot of my life trying to write songs that were mysterious, she says. But when you collaborate with others, you have to figure out what youre writing about it cant just be some abstract ideas swirling around in your head.

She also found inspiration from her 10-year-old daughter, Lyla, and 7-year-old son, Emet, whom she is raising in the San Fernando Valley with her husband, Roey Hershkovitz, a former talent booker for Conan OBrien and now the vice president of Capitol Studios. Both kids appear in the video to This is My Life, Loebs rockin new tune about focusing on moments of simplicity.

I can get stuck in the logistical side of things, but my son and daughter push me to stop and take time to make the rainbow waffles, she says. They help me to remember to enjoy the small things.

With young kids at home, Loeb is no longer willing to tour as long and hard as she did in her 20s and 30s.

I dont do T-shirt tours anymore, where the whole back of the concert shirt is filled with tour dates. Now, I do three-hour tours, like Gilligans Island, she says with a laugh.

She also doesnt miss the halcyon days of the late 90s, when she was all over MTV and VH1 and performing on Leno and Letterman and Saturday Night Live.

Back then, she says, she felt sucked into a vortex where everything was about how you looked, and how short your skirt was. Her strongest memory from back then? Sitting in endless hair-and-makeup sessions, bored out of her skull.

Today, after a quarter-century in and out of the spotlight, Loeb is happy, thanks in part to one simple trick: She doesnt think of herself as a brand-name performer, just a working creative person very anchored in reality.

I dont have Barbra Streisand success or Beyonc success. But can they sit at the Forestwood caf and eat a piece of strawberry cake peacefully? she asks with a grin. No they cannot.

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With a new album out Feb. 28, Lisa Loeb just wants to live in the moment - The Dallas Morning News

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February 27th, 2020 at 12:48 am

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