Bunch Of Fives: Lizzie Esau | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Photo by Victoria Wai

Newcastle-based singer-songwriter Lizzie Esau drops her fourth single Caffeine. The track with its, nineties lo-fi indie vibe (think Cruel Intentions soundtrack) is about struggling to justify choices and feeling pressure to appease others when doing so.

Here, Lizzie tells us about the five artists that are inspiring her music at the moment…

Wolf Alice 
Blue Weekend, the new album from Wolf Alice, is something that I’m finding impossible to not listen to every second of every day right now. The combination of different genres, emotions and subject matters explored in this album is so deeply enjoyable and has been really inspiring my own musical direction. I’ve been so enlightened by the contrast of folk, rock and at times punk elements of this album and feel as though I’ve almost been given some kind of permission from this to explore the possibilities of combining genres in the music that I’m currently making. As well as being inspired by the music side of things I also find frontwoman Ellie Rowsell a very strong and inspiring female in an industry still dominated in many ways by men.

Current favourite tracks: Delicious Things, Smile, How Can I Make It Okay

Nothing But Thieves 
The crazy vocal talents of the frontman of Nothing But Thieves is something that always takes my breath away, especially in a live setting. This paired with the infectiously uplifting beats and melodies is something that is currently really inspiring me to liven up my writing style and think more about how a song would make a crowd feel and move. As well as this, the gritty honest lyrics and tones to the instrumentation is something I love so much and that I have really taken into my music and hope to continue to do so, especially in my most recent upcoming releases using more love drums and dirtier guitar tones. 

Current favourite tracks: Impossible, Unperson, Is Everybody Going Crazy

Holly Humberstone
The subtle catchiness of everything Holly Humberstone releases is so exciting to me. The chilled vibes and contrast of very layered and then extremely close and intimate vocals is something I find so pleasing to listen to. This has really encouraged me to experiment more with using different ways of singing within a track to create more excitement and dynamics. I love the 80’s bop of a lot of her new stuff contrasted with authentic and modern sounding guitars and interesting vocal effects. As well as this she has also made one of most favourite ballads of the year, Haunted House, which shows her vocal so closely and vulnerably which is so beautifully visual to listen to. This all inspires me to not be afraid to combine old and new elements of different genres and to continue to write authentically.

Current favourite tracks: Haunted House, The Walls Are Way Too Thin, Scarlett

In the last year, Beabadoobee has really caught my attention with her alternative indie charm. She really makes the perfect songs to dance around your room to or scream in the car so if I can put even a bit of this into my music, I’ll be very happy. Her latest EP, Our Extended Play, features such honest grungy and almost lo-fi sounding instrumentation which I love so much and really try to include into the tracks that I put out. I think that being relatable and transparent with casual subject matters and connecting with an audience is something so important and something Beabadoobee does so well which I have been very heavily influenced by. 

Current favourite tracks: Last Day On Earth, Care, She Plays Bass 

Little Simz 
Thanks to radio 1 Little Simz has been someone I heard a lot of, especially the track, Woman. This track is so empowering and beautiful as well as an absolute bop. I love the cleverness of her lyrics and how insightful and topical they are. It really makes me think about how I can be more reflective and touch on subjects closer to my heart and in places political. Compared to the other artists I have listed here Little Simz is quite different being a rapper and musically quite jazzy, but I am definitely in places really inspired by the blissful funky basslines and especially by her captivating lyrics.  

Current favourite tracks: Woman, Venom, I Love You I Hate You

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