I have been reviewing a lot of Welsh bands lately, but it seems that a trip to Scotland is in order!
The scene up north is bursting at the seams with artistry and confidence. Not to mention that almost every act I find is jaw-dropping: punk orientated Memes (freshly off from their trip to SXSW), poet and crooner Colin Clyne (watch this space) and now Lizzie Reid.
I have a weakness for female soloists – blame it on being raised on a diet of POE, Tracy Bonham and Lisa Loeb. I will even recite entire line up of Lilith Fair if challenged.
So let me tell you few words about Lizzie Reid as she seems to be an artist after my own heart. She`s been touring the country since 2017 and released an EP “Cubicle” last year to commercial success and professional recognition. The EP was shortlisted for Scottish Album of the Year, received continuous airplay from biggest radio stations (Radio 1, BBC 6, BBC Introducing) and landed Lizzie a support slot invitation from Arlo Parks.
Soon after she signed with an indie label 7476 (home to Matilda Mann, Matt Maltese and tinyumbrellahs).
Her new single “Bible” is a bitter-sweet, acoustic ode to a beloved person. You put them on a pedestal, want to give them the world on a silver plate and show them where you come from. I kind of understand the religious overtones. But “Bible” is much more than a study of adoration. Lizzie admits that the song came from a place of extreme anxiety and looking at herself though the eyes of other people. And it cannot be denied, the single is filled with longing and insecurity. It`s real and honest, almost emotionally raw in places. Here lies Lizzie`s biggest strength – her undeniable ability to reach out to her listeners and connecting with them. We all experience love and rejection and this is
a common ground on which we can meet one another.
I`m not at all surprised that the Scottish songstress received so much attention for her music. What sets her apart from other songwriters is the vulnerability that Lizzie doesn’t want to hide. I am going to sound a bit bombastic here but hey. There is a song off Jayhawkes` album “Tomorrow the green grass” entitled “Mrs Williams Guitar”. It`s a love song that Mark Olson penned for his then wife Victoria Williams, but it also speaks about the amazement Olson felt when watching Victoria perform live on stage. “The whole damn crowd seemed so far away” goes the lyrics. Now, I have not seen Lizzie Reid live yet, but listening to her songs gives me the exact same feeling of being transported somewhere else by sheer power of a voice and a guitar. It`s a damn fine skill by itself to mesmerize a reviewer.
In a way, I think this Glaswegian singer may be the closest thing the UK will have to Victoria Williams. The charisma, unique way of interacting with an audience and powerful yet down-to-earth lyrics. Lizzie Reid has it all.
Every time an artist of this calibre lands in my inbox, I`m absolutely amazed how varied and extraordinary scene we have in this country. We should be doing everything in our power to support and fund independent circuit.
You can follow Lizzie Reid using the links below: