“Are we ready to decide how we want to live?” Folk singer Lisa Bastoni’s new album, How We Want to Live, chronicles life changes, including songs about the dissolution of her marriage and learning to live a new normal -- but more than anything, it finds the songwriter diving deeper into the life she craves. Throughout the album’s ten tracks, themes vacillate from romantic relationships to those with her children, parents, and friends -- weaved throughout, are her hopes for herself and the world around her.
As a teenager, Lisa would flip through the pages of her grandmother’s guitar notes, after she had learned to play the instrument as a 40-something-year-old. Her grandmother wrote her notes in the characteristic style of someone that age -- a particular penmanship we’re all familiar with, carefully crafted and written with a precision that was once taught but is no longer to be seen. After her grandmother died in 2017, Lisa inherited her grandmother’s guitar -- a 1971 Gibson J50 -- complete with her handprint on the upper bout, where the sweat and oils from her hand wore away the finish while waiting her turn in song circles. She also inherited her canvas bag full of handwritten cover songs.