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Singer Lissie On Ditching The West Coast For Life On An Iowa Farm

Singer-songwriter Elisabeth Maurus, better known as Lissie, has returned to her Midwestern roots, making a life for herself on a rural farm in Northeast Iowa.

Like so many kids growing up in the Midwest, singer-songwriter Lissie was eager to leave. But after 15 years in California, the Rock Island, Illinois native has traded in her life on the West Coast for 47 acres and solitude on a rural farm in Northeast Iowa.

"It's funny how your perspective on where you're from, you know, it takes kind of growing up and seeing the rest of the world to appreciate how good you had it or how much you really love the place you're from," Lissie says. "Four years ago, I was like, I miss the Midwest. I think Iowa in particular, the countryside is just breathtaking, and that's where I want to be."

Now, a few years removed from the hustle of the Southern California music scene and with several more national and international tours under her belt, Lissie is reflecting on her changed reality, and looking forward to a life that lets her balance nights on the road with the serenity of Midwestern living.

Lissie's newest album "When I'm Alone: The Piano Retrospective" reflects her decision to move away from the established music scene of the west, and pursue a more stripped down existence. The album offers piano and vocal-only versions of Lissie originals including "Don't You Give Up on Me" and "When I'm Alone," plus vocal-focused covers of classics like Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams."

On this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe sits down with Lissie for a look at her recent musical accomplishments and what's next for the musician who has chosen to call Iowa home. 

Katelyn Harrop is a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa