ARTIST: LIZZY FARRALL
LABEL: PURE NOISE RECORDS
WORDS: CARA MULLEN
Aptly titled ‘Barbados’, Lizzy Farrall’s sophomore EP is the pop/rock crossover soundtrack to your summer. A diary of emotive anthems, her inner thoughts are laid bare over sweet sounding keyboards and The 1975-esque sharp guitar tones. The result is sugary pop with lyrics that cut deep and vocals that comfort as much as they captivate.
A perfect blend of alternative and pop, Farrall has brought some sunshine to the UK’s alternative scene. ‘Barbados’ isn’t even remotely similar to stuff you’ll have already heard from people she shares gig and festival line-ups with; it’s shiny and fruity while still keeping its alternative edge.
Each track is perfectly balanced. Keyboard pop turns into rock, and the sound is huge on both sides of the table. The overall sound of the EP is consistent; it feels like a collection of songs that were made together to slot into the track listing like puzzle pieces. Each blends perfectly into the next to feel like summer background music – the soundtrack to road trips, pool parties and campfire nights.
“A perfect blend of alternative and pop, Farrall has brought some sunshine to the UK’s alternative scene”
Having been one of the few women to perform at this year’s Slam Dunk Festival alongside Hannah of Hot Milk, Lights, and Tillie, it’s clear that there’s room in alternative music for some more girl power. Farrall has brought that in spades on ‘Barbados’ with lyrics that are super relatable and reminiscent of Taylor Swift – if Taylor Swift was cool and spoke out about being judged for wearing low cut tops.
She’s worn her heart on her sleeve in the lyrics of these tracks, and even if you’ve never been through a breakup, her honestly and bluntness will make you feel like you can relate. Something that Farrall has managed to do incredibly well is to make these often sad lyrics sound happy and nonchalant with how vibrant and sparkly the overall sound of ‘Barbados’ is.
The Americanism of a “college degree” in the lyrics of an EP that also talks about “the pretty sights of Liverpool” is an odd contrast, but on an EP as vibrant and varied as this, it just about works for Chester-based Farrall.
“‘Barbados’ has a way of placing you in summer’s grip – right by the pool and under the sunshine.”
Vocally, the standard stays high, but not just for her vocal abilities. Farrall’s voice is unique and distinctive. It’s both comforting and captivating, and like a voice actor, she conveys so much emotion and manages to tell a story from just her vocals alone. Closing track ‘Make Up Sex’ is the pinnacle of this. Not only do the lyrics paint her emotion – her voice sets the scene for everything she feels.
The guitar work on this EP is something to fall deeply in love with. It both makes you want to dance and gives you a feeling of serenity simultaneously. The guitars wouldn’t sound out of place on an album by The 1975 are what give ‘Barbados’ its 80’s Miami vibe. It also needs to be mentioned that ‘Help’ has an incredible solo towards the end.
‘Barbados’ has a way of placing you in summer’s grip – right by the pool and under the sunshine. It’ll carry you from its May release right up to September when festival season is over and the nights start to feel less warm. But when that time comes, you can put this EP on repeat and go right back.