The Lied To’s are Doug Kwartler and Susan Levine. They first met as solo artists at a folk festival in 2009, and lost touch until 2013 when a chance meeting at an open mic led to Levine recording in Kwartler’s recording studio (Hollow Body Studios). They began sharing gigs and discovered that they were a match both musically and personally. In addition to shared musical aesthetics, they had similar histories including difficult divorces and single parenthood. They became The Lied To’s in 2014, their name emerging from a rehearsal session as they played through the Everly Brother’s iconic, ‘When Will I Be Loved.’ When they got to the second verse, which includes the line “I’ve been lied to,” Levine joked that it would make a good band name. “It fit for a variety of reasons,” states Kwartler, “And the rest was history.”
‘It’s Not Who You Love‘ is taken from the duo’s third release, ‘The Worst Kind of New’, (out on March 11th) which as an album takes a look at a different kind of loss, exploring grief, memory, death, love and the struggle to let go of expectations and find self-acceptance. Which could sound depressing, if the approach taken wasn’t so darn upbeat, up-tempo and yes, darn it, so uplifting.
Doug Kwartler explained the background to the song: “Two musicians I knew passed away very close to each other. One was a woman from New York who had the most amazing voice and spirit. And one was a Boston-based musician who I didn’t know that well. What struck me about both was how many lives these two artists touched. The tributes and heartfelt appreciation for both of them (from two different music scenes) was amazing. Somewhere in there the line “It’s not who you love, it’s who loves you” came to me. From there the song also became about living in and for the moment (which is definitely a struggle for me) because as the song says, “You never know day to day what’s going to drop on the other side.” A couple of lines that I particularly like are, “The head bleeds more than the heart sometimes.” Which is basically a reference to worry and overthinking and anxiety. People talk about a broken heart and heartache, but often the mind can do more damage. And of course, the verse which includes the title of the album, “You think you’ve come a long way, you’re feeling okay, Got all these plans of what you’re gonna do, Well baby that’s the worst kind of new.” Basically reiterating that anything can happen so don’t plan too far in advance, just do it.“