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Liz Lawrence - Pity Party (Album Review)

Tuesday, 29 October 2019 Written by Huw Baines

Liz Lawrence’s ‘Pity Party’ is an album of opposites. On one hand we have the anxious, discombobulated mid-20s of its lyric sheet, and on the other a pristine set of songs defined by certain, clean melodic lines.

Lawrence, a semi-regular collaborator and tourmate of Bombay Bicycle Club, has refined her aesthetic and musical aims in recent years, ditching the folk leanings of her debut in favour of smart indie-pop in a similar vein to Margaret Glaspy’s excellent 2016 LP ‘Emotions and Math’.

In songs like Navigator and Life Again, she has distilled an effective formula that combines earworm hooks and a seam of honesty couched in a meta safety blanket. “Shake, shake, shake it up, baby,” she murmurs to open the latter. “I know you’ve been drowning lately.” 

There is a wistful melancholy to many of these admissions, which will chime with listeners of a similar vintage and those who are already a little further along the road into grey hair and Netflix.

Take this line from of None of My Friends, which has been ripped straight from the pages of reality: “I call you up just to cancel our plans. You’re not put out, you were hoping to cancel too.”

At 11 songs and 32 minutes, ‘Pity Party’ is lean and focused. Individually, its self-recorded tracks are similarly bare bones. Synths and guitars are layered over time rather than poured into their foundations, allowing Lawrence to first draw our attention to the mechanics of the melodies. 

Under that spotlight, they aren’t found wanting. As we move from low-key hit to low-key hit there is a great amount of satisfaction to be found in the care and attention that underpins Lawrence’s writing. ‘Pity Party’ is a proper album—it works back to front, song to song, sentiment to sentiment.

Liz Lawrence Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Tue October 29 2019 - LONDON SET
Tue February 18 2020 - BRIGHTON Prince Albert
Wed February 19 2020 - LONDON Colours
Thu February 20 2020 - MANCHESTER Deaf Institute
Fri February 21 2020 - GLASGOW Broadcast

Click here to compare & buy Liz Lawrence Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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