CD Review: Lizzyspit – I’m Alive You Know

13 Apr

Lizzyspit sings “I Worry, I Wait” at the Troubadour in London, where several tracks from her new EP were recorded live

I'm Alive You Know: a voice of Skin-like intensity

London singer/songwriter Lizzyspit’s new 7-track EP I’m Alive You Know is a step up from her well-received first album Egg Box. There’s an assurance about her voice, always of considerable emotional substance, which imparts real urgency to lyrics that range from gentle introspection to flashes of anger without straying in to pretentious territory.

These unplugged songs are snapshots of moments lived and stored, captured in a web of spare, acoustic arrangements, and articulated with a Skin-like intensity that insists you listen to the words.

Lizzyspit (also known as Elizabeth Knights-Ward), 25, has been steadily attracting attention since Radio 2 stalwarts Janice Long and Steve Lamacq gave her some all-important airplay. Long described “Stars in the Water” (the third track on this EP) as “absolutely beautiful” and indeed it is: a delicate and ethereal chant of simple images.

The other standout tracks are the single, “Talk You Down” – a sharp, articulate tale of self preservation, and “Only a Matter of Time”, part cry for help, part reassurance that help will come.

“Little Dan” with its quirky, loping whistled intro, is a touching tribute to individuality, while “Trip” explores the frustratingly enduring remnants of a relationship that’s left its mark. “I Worry, I Wait” is a frank, unsparing account of 21st century neurosis that will echo with anyone afflicted by doubt and uncertainty.

While her first album was self-produced in her bedroom – she made a sound booth out of egg boxes – most of these tracks were recorded in London at the Troubadour, giving a strong sense of Lizzyspit’s strengths as a live performer.

Her voice, with its underlying vibrancy and resonance, is a compelling instrument that sets her apart from the current mainstream of young female singer/songwriters. It’s well served here by her spare guitar accompaniment, but I bet she can equally well let fly with a band and some harder beats behind her.

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