“When I was a child, I’d invent melodies in my head,” Lisa told The Portugal News. Her formative years heavily involved music, with influences coming from everywhere from participating in church choirs to performing solos at her high school. “I had a dream when I was a teenager to come up with a collection of songs that honoured Fado, but with a twist,” she revealed.

In the early 2000s, Lisa’s search for somewhere to work brought her across the pond, from her home in Portugal to the American East Coast. “That was when ‘saudade’ really started coming to mind.” The word is one unique to Portuguese, perhaps one of its most famous expressions, that means the longing you feel when you’re missing something, and it’s a cornerstone of Fado’s melancholic tones. Lisa’s album aims to transmit this feeling of longing to a global audience by shaking up the musical formula of Fado, adding sounds from pop, jazz, and rock, among others.

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Vibrant Simplicity

This first album features songs taken from her two books, both titled Vibrant Simplicity: one in Portuguese, and one in English. Don’t be mistaken though: they are completely different books, not just translations of one another. She was supported in making this album by the Portuguese pianist and composer Ruben Alves, along with backup singers and composers Rute Alves, Sara Alves Calaim and Ola Ruth. The record was produced under ESCUTAR RECORDS in Portugal’s Slow Music Studios, founded by Rui Veloso. “The collaboration aspect has been excellent,” she remarked.

The opportunity to make this album came as she was on the plane coming from Switzerland, where she met a producer who greatly enjoyed her Vibrant Simplicity book, which she was coming home from earning an award for.

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The main single on the album is “This is Not Hell,” sung in English, which adapts Fado to an upbeat, earwormy track. Another notable song in there is “Saudade em Português,” which features strings played by the critically acclaimed guitarist Luís Guerreiro.

Concerts will initially be held in the United States, in Pennsylvania, since that’s where Lisa lives. The first show will be in Philadelphia, the home of a community of 11,000 Portuguese in the diaspora. After that, the entire album will be played in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to a huge crowd of people ready to experience her unique music. Concerts will then come to Brazil and Portugal in 2024, the latter of which being the production site of the album’s physical CDs.

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Lisa Lynn Ericson believes the American audience will take a liking to her songs. “There’s been a huge wave of Americans moving to Portugal,” she explained, saying the country’s made it into “the public consciousness” of those across the Atlantic. She also said they’re intrigued by the language. “I’ll be speaking Portuguese and they’ll just lean in and listen.”

Lisa’s album and the books that preceded it are based on her personal philosophy of Vibrant Simplicity. “I look at life like it can be made complicated,” she explained. “If we’re grounded in what matters, then life is simple, but it’s vibrant.” She believes that there’s often not a need to overcomplicate things and finds that beauty can be found in keeping things simple and clean. She doesn’t think people should fret too much about those complications that life throws at us, because “there’s a genuine reason for courage and hope.”

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You can learn more about Lisa’s music and writing through her website, www.lisalynnericson.com, and you can already listen to her single “This is Not Hell” on Spotify and Apple Music.


Star in the 2015 music video for the hit single “Headlights” by German musician, DJ and record producer Robin Schulz featuring American singer-songwriter Ilsey. Also a journalist.

Jay Bodsworth