epk - epk - epk
"In the MOUNTAINS of recordings presenters receive, the cream repeatedly rises to the top". - Marilyn Rae Bayer - Host, WFMT’s The Midnight Special (98.7FM Chicago) about The Lied To's
No Depression's "Best of the Month" playlist - "It's Not Who You Love" from The Worst Kind of New for March, 2022.
"Time" from The Worst Kind of New wins Susan Levine "Outstanding Achievement in Songwriting" at The Great American Song Contest.
The Lied To's are Susan Levine and Doug Kwartler, two award-winning singer-songwriters that formed the group in 2013. Three albums and nine years later, the pair continues to share their music, and playing at festivals and venues including many shows at the legendary Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, TN, (One upcoming on 10/9/22), Club Passim in Cambridge, MA, Rockwood Music Hall in NYC, and more. Between them, they have been finalists at the Kerrville Folk Festival, Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, the Rocky Mountain Folks Fest, and the International Songwriting Competition, among others, and have had songs on national television programs. Kwartler is also a respected music producer who owns and runs Hollow Body Recording Studios in Chelmsford, MA
what - they - wrote
The Worst Kind of New (released 3/11/22)
"The serendipitous sounds of The Lied To’s — Susan Levine and Doug Kwartler — ring with a resilience that’s
hard to resist." - Lee Zimmerman, Goldmine Magazine - full review
"In digging into the emotions that bedrock the experiences captured in the songs, the worst kind of new is the best kind of hurt." - Folk Radio UK - full review
"The Lied To's Showcase Americana Range and Vivid Lyricism On The Worst Kind of New." - Glide Magazine - full review
"I get swamped with music submissions so when I find something special like The Lied To's it makes my job seem worthwhile." - Dan Alloway, Folk Fury, KTEP, 88.5FM, El Paso, TX
"Just a wonderful collection of tunes and the production and harmonies.... well, just beautiful... an outstanding record! " - Mark Michaelis, Acoustic-Harmony, WGDR - Vermont.
"That restrained tasteful approach puts the entire focus on the song’s narrative which balances a simple poetic lyricism and a wistful understanding on the back of Levine’s divine vocals for stellar results." Post Card Elba - full review
"From an unimaginable melodic beauty, the American duo The Lied To's presents the purity of folk in its fullest essence with the single "Time," a song that reaches our hearts magnificently and guides us through a beautiful rhythmic universe full of transcendental tranquility that strikes the soul with its unique and very special magic."
- Roadie-Music - full review.
"Both Levine and Kwartler are talented writers and singers, and this well-balanced collection of ballads and up-tempo country-rockers includes more than a few standouts.- Jeff Burger - (Americana Highways) full review
music - music - music
video - video - video
(Above) Live @ The Bluebird Cafe 11/2023
(Above) Live @ First Night Boston 1/1/23
radio - radio - radio
The Worst Kind of New, released March 11, 2022, was played at over 210 stations around the USA and many across the world.
The album peaked at #8 on the Roots Music Report Massachusetts charts where it remained for months including a re-entry to #21 in MA over 5 1/2 months after release. Three singles peaked at #5, #6, #9 on the MA charts.
The album peaked at #13 on the Roots Music Report National Contemporary Folk charts.
social - social - social
Praise for The Lied To's previous album, The Lesser of Two Evils
“Maybe the fact that they are a couple has led them to greatness in approaching duet singing and songwriting.” - Peter Frassinet, Salt Creek Radio Show, WVBR-fm, Ithaca, NY
"...harmonies, textures, and poetic approach here is nothing short of brilliant." - Tom Haugen, The Daily Vault
“For every darkness there is a silver lining...The Lied To's remind us of this on The Lesser of Two Evils. It's darker themes tend to heal in more ways than one upon realizing this reminder – one that keeps us mindful of what we still have to mutually embrace and fight for in the face of adversity.” – PopMatters
“[the album]uniquely blends follk, rock, bluegrass, and country in ways that capture The Lied To's distinctive style, one that feels both contemporary and timeless.” - The Daily Country
“The Lied To's ask 'What Keeps Us In This World?” and part of the answer is music and part of music is music like this.” -Unpeeled
“The blend of country, roots and folk imbued in their sophomore set The Lesser of Two Evilsisn't sugar coated in any way, but echoes instead with the hard realities most folks encounter in similar circumstances. It's both tough and tender...These are hard lessons for the learning, but given their tenacious delivery, honesty and conviction, it's completely compelling regardless.” -Goldmine Magazine
“...magical and beautifully potent music...they are on the cusp of something special that is only furthering their resolve to become better people as a result of what they've been through.” - Music Box Pete
“...you'll be hearing more from Kwartler and Levine in the coming years because they hit all the right notes, not just for themselves, but the folks on the other side of those songs.” - Medium.com
“The Lied To's have outdone themselves with this sophomore album. The Lesser of Two Evilsis loaded with gritty, flinty instrumentation, impeccably raw, emotive vocals, and plenty of drums and percussion push...Rendered into three-dimensional life by two of New England's most talented singer-songwriters, with quality sound, and the listener receives their recipe for an outstanding album.” -Bill Copeland Music News
“...electric guitar bends and bluesy riffs that will bring you to Rock-N-Roll heaven.” - Rock the Pigeon
“If some tracks on their discs are indicators, the New England duo, The Lied To's, may risk an interruption to their performing ambitions with full-time songwriting careers.” - Roots Music Report
“The well-told story of music comes first...sensitive and beautiful.” - The Next Gig
“The Lied To's continue to make thought-provoking music and The Lesser of Two Evilscouldn't be a more timely body of work.” – Metronome Magazine
“If you dig the mix of gritty honesty and interwoven gorgeous harmonies of Shovels and Rope, then you are going to love The Lied To’s.” - Red Line Roots
Quotes and accolades for The Lied To's debut CD:
No Depression top 100 readers poll!
"one of the finest contemporary guy/gal duos on the scene today" - Metronome Magazine, Boston, MA
Top 20 CD of the year - Metronome Magazine, Boston, MA
"The tunes resonate in both Nashville country and New England folk traditions." - The Day Paper - New London, CT
"...lyrically and musically a gentle masterpiece." - Americana UK
who - are - you?
Like their first two releases, The Lied To’s third album, The Worst Kind of New (March 11), explores the challenges of relationships with the duo’s trademark grit, honesty and harmony, but this time they also dig deep into the next stage of life, examining loss, grief, memory, and the desire for love and self-acceptance. Their first single, “It’s Not Who You Love,” is out now – a spirited track that finds the pair reminding themselves, ‘It’s not who you love/it’s who loves you.’”
The Lied To’s, made up of musicians Doug Kwartler and Susan Levine, previously released their 2015 self-titled debut and 2018’s The Lesser of Two Evils, which chronicled the losing and rebuilding of relationships in the wake of divorce. The Worst Kind of New is the next step in the life cycle Kwartler and Levine both lost parents during the making of the record, which profoundly impacted their perspective. The characters in these songs are no longer lamenting about being lied to or hurt by others, but instead are looking at the lies they tell themselves and belief systems that may no longer serve them or hold true.
The album’s sonic landscape feels tastefully understated yet also deep and cinematic. The musical palette ranges from a lone vocal to full band with textured guitars, strings, synthesizers and organs. “I wanted to slightly break away from the more traditional ‘Americana’ sounds,” Kwartler says. “And also blend in an impressionistic landscape that reflects the stories in the album and the questions they ask, which are often ambiguous and mysterious.
The album opens with a resolution: In “Midnight Kiss,” Levine acknowledges her tendency to look at the negative things in her life, and her desire to cultivate gratitude. “Like anything, knowing what to do is easy, but actually doing it is harder,” Levine says. “My mother’s death was very sudden, and that kind of loss – where you don’t have the chance to say the things you want to say - is the worst kind of wake-up call. You need to appreciate what you have and tell the people in your life you love them while you can.”
Time and memory wind their way through the record as integral threads in the non-linear patchwork of grief. “Long Lonesome Road,” written by Kwartler after his father’s death, is a haunting country lament that turns the cliche ‘time heals all wounds’ on its head. Later in the album, Levine’s song, “Time,” explores the same terrain as it relates to a failed romantic relationship. The narrator claims that the best thing about time is that memories fade, all while recounting their relationship in excruciating detail.
The narrators in the rowdy country rocker “Two Days” and the contemplative ballad “Other Side of Gone” could be characters on opposite sides of the same story. The first is waiting for his partner to tell him whether she’s staying or going, and the second is struggling with whether she should stay or go, and how to move forward without letting the past drag her back.
Covers of Tom Waits’ “Long Way Home” and Blaze Foley’s “Clay Pigeons” beautifully showcase the interplay between Levine and Kwartler’s guitars and vocals.
The final song of the record, “It’s Only Love” begins with a stark, lone, fingerpicked guitar and culminates in the soaring chorus, “It’s only love/it’s only love/a song rings down from above/and then it fades into the dust/and drifts away/it’s only love.” Completing the journey of the album, it continues to ask rather than answer the question of what gets left behind when the people we love are gone.
Levine and Kwartler were award-winning solo singer-songwriters when they first met at a folk festival in 2009. After reconnecting at an open mic in 2013, Levine began recording in Kwartler’s recording studio. The two started sharing gigs and discovered that they were a match both musically and personally. Three albums and nine years later, the pair, who took their name from The Everly Brothers’ “When Will I Be Loved,” continues to share music and life. Between them, they have been finalists at the Kerrville Folk Festival, Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, the Rocky Mountain Folks Fest, and the International Songwriting Competition, among others. Kwartler is a respected music producer who owns and runs Hollow Body Recording Studios in Chelmsford, MA. His songs have been featured on network tv shows including CSI, All My Children, The Young and the Restless and Dark Blue.
Susan and Doug's solo websites:
Praise for The Lied To's:
Singer-songwriter-guitarist Susan Levine and singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist Doug Kwartler have teamed up to create one of the finest contemporary guy/gal duos on the scene today. - Metronome Magazine
Susan Levine has a voice somewhere between Dolly Parton and Maria Muldaur – it carries an edgy passion with a wailing “want my man” quality.
The Doug Kwartler has one of those John Mellencamp-ish, longing, honky-tonk voices that make women weak in the knees. - The Noise
"...lyrically and musically a gentle masterpiece..." - Americana UK