- ruby crowhurst
five seconds flat - LIZZY MCALPINE ALBUM REVIEW
Alert for the sad indie music girlies: a new album to add to your playlist has arrived in the form of Lizzy McApline's third album five seconds flat.
Typically, the music that comes from apps like Tiktok are high velocity, catchy, and nowadays almost exactly curated to be TikTok hits. However, McAlpine doesn't fit into any of these categories and yet she is one of the artists whose success can definitely be credited somewhat to the app.
five seconds flat opens with arguably one of not only the best songs on this album, but one of the best songs of 2022 so far. doomsday is as cynical and gloom-ridden as the title suggests, but there's something in it that's also so incredibly full of life. The song was chosen as one of the early singles which is an astoundingly brave choice, but it certainly encompasses the metaphorical songwriting and the pessimistic look on love and life that this album brings to the table. The song takes the metaphor of doomsday to represent a break-up and fleshes it out with gut-punching lyrics like "It was so quiet / No friends and family allowed / Only my murderer, you, and the priest" and "I feel more free than I have in years / Six feet in the ground", both taken from the well-constructed bridge.
With an opener like 'doomsday' it could be hard to keep the momentum going throughout the album, especially with the premise of most songs being so bleak. However, McAlpine manages this, and she does so with style. Although five seconds flat are based on acoustic indie, it reaches out to other genres tentatively and makes them its own. It is easy to compare the album to Pheobe Bridgers' Punisher with the way rock flows through several songs and the fact that even the upbeat songs have a tone of cynicism about them, however, McAlpine is far from a copy of Bridgers. 'an ego thing' with its thumping bass and experimentation with sharp instrumentals feels very much of its own kind alongside erase me with a feature from Jacob Collier, and lyrics are far more metaphoric in comparison to Bridgers own menial descriptions of life and love (which, of course, work very well for her).
McAlpine's features on the album have also been chosen incredibly well, with up-and-comers Ben Kessler and Laura Elliot's styles of music easily blending with McAlpine's specific genre of indie-rock. The same also goes for hate to be lame, featuring FINNEAS, an artist of his own right but perhaps more famously, the producer (and brother of) music sensation Billie Eilish.
Throughout the album, we also get brief interludes of spoken voices, the best and most important of which are found on closing song on 'orange show speedway'. The rawness and seeming randomness of these spoken interludes work seamlessly with the overall concept of the album, falling in and out of love at a chaotic yet wonderful part of your life.
Each song, and the album as a whole, feels like a real snapshot of McAlpine's life that undoubtedly feels relatable to a huge audience of listeners.
It seems that five seconds flat has gone missed by the mainstream, but based on this work, McAlpine has the potential to become one of the next songwriting sensations, following in the footsteps of phoebe Bridgers, Billie Eilish, and maybe even Taylor Swift if the appetite is there. Watch this space.