was in the midst of some big changes when she was writing songs for her third album, My Wild West
. She departed from her label Columbia Records UK in favor of starting her own label, Lionboy, and prepared to leave California – her home for the past 12 years – for a 30-acre farm in Iowa. When asked by Interview
magazine if there was a particular song that encapsulated the shift she was going through, Lissie singled out "Ojai," named for the valley tucked into the Topatopa Mountains northwest of Los Angeles.
"It is getting back to how I started," she said. "It signifies an ending, but it's also open-ended enough to signify a beginning at the same time. It seems like a perfect way to end the California chapter. It's just guitar and vocals, which is how I began my career. I won't do just guitar/vocal stuff moving forward, but knowing there's not someone on my case, like, 'You can't do that because it'll never get on the radio!' It doesn't matter because I'm just trying to sing about my life. 'Ojai' good, it's more of a comma than a period."