Photo by Todd Cooper

Up in Praise

A night on the couch with the kids, a stroll through a mossy grove, or sweating in a room with 30 strangers while holding an uncomfortable pose — we create these spaces of solace to soothe us from life’s outside turbulence. And calm amongst tumult is Portland singer/songwriter Liz Vice’s specialty, as she creates a thick ambience of comfort with her saturated gospel melodies and her heavenly voice.

Vice has two critically acclaimed solo albums, Save Me (2018) and There’s a Light (2015), which ebb between Southern gospel, R&B and a nice dash of Stevie Wonder. Throughout the albums, Vice makes it evident that her voice is a holy tool as she belts out sharp-edged wails and then pours her vocals into sultry, smooth-as-honey depths.

From her pop tune “Baby Hold On” to her spine-chilling ballad “There’s a Light,” Vice has honed the skill of bringing her listeners into a melodic embrace.

Vice openly praises Jesus and the Almighty, two things often attached to instant, sometimes critical judgment from onlookers at either end of the spectrum. There’s something to be said for the humility in her lyrics, though, and the depth and history of gospel — not to mention the awe-inspiring talent she holds. Vice’s faithful expression is a warm hug on a shitty day, not a Bible being shoved down your throat. 

Liz Vice plays 7pm Sunday, Oct. 28, at Hi-Fi Music Hall; $10 advance, $12 door. All ages. — Kelsey Anne Rankin