Lizzy Farrall’s sophomore EP, Barbados, was released on May 10, 2019. This EP is arranged in the style of modern pop and uplifting beats fused with 80s synth, unlike her acoustic guitar styled and maudlin debut EP, All I Said Was Never Heard. Barbados encompasses the feelings of a person deliberately attempting to resolve their explicit ambivalence towards their emotional stressors.
“I’ve always used music as a release,” she says, “whether it be listening or creating. I’ve always struggled writing happy lyrics, and I feel that’s a reflection of the music I was brought up on – things like Damien Rice, The Smiths, and David Gray. I hold my first EP very close to my heart, but it was my steppingstone into creating the music I write now. I wanted the release I get from creating my music to be less sad and more uplifting. The vision I had was being able to sing these personal lyrics but also be able to actually dance and make the lyrics relatable to the listener.” The Chester, UK native displays this said release in the third title track “Barbados,” with lyrics like “‘Cause I’ve been driving through the red light/ Watching as she holds you so tight/ Will I ever say I’m alright?/ Cause maybe I’m a wreck and a mess/ So tell me if I’m wrong but I guess/ Dying hurts just a little less/ Just a little less.” There is a slight feeling of someone with suicidal ideation in those lyrics; one would rather die than continue to bear the pain of seeing the one they hold so dearly, love someone else. The pain of witnessing this must be worse than death itself. The belief is that death would alleviate the pain.
The second track on the EP, “Balloon,” portrays someone voicing her disdain in a situation with the smile on their face that societal pressure forces her to wear. Noteworthy lyrics such as, “I don’t belong here/ Can we act as though that ain’t so clear/ I don’t even like this beer /But I was told I’ve got to put myself out there” provide a platform to showcase the masks that people often wear for the sake of others’ comfort at the expense of their own.
“Help” demonstrates the kind of frustration experienced from your feelings not being acknowledged. There is the perception of being discredited as she sings “Just another waiting list/ To be told we’ve got to get over this.”
Farrell manages to invoke an uplifting vibe in disconsolate songs while offering relatability without driving the empathizing listener into deeper despair. The multidimensional tracks “Games” and “Make Up Sex” both help to elucidate this semblance. “Make Up Sex” is a vivid description of a relationship that dives much deeper than what some may perceive to be a salacious title. “When I wrote “Make Up Sex” I did worry about the lyrical content and how people would react,” says Farrall, “as I guess people could see it as not a very ‘safe topic’. Once released, I did receive a few negative comments along the lines of it being ‘a very obnoxious topic for a woman to be singing about’ – just because I’m a female and sing about sex people paint me in an obnoxious light. But I just find that funny. And, honestly, it’s just pushed me to write more ‘obnoxious’ lyrics!” “Make Up Sex” could also be compared to people wearing makeup to cover up scars or imperfections. The blemishes of this couple’s relationship are covered up with sex.
The unfiltered song writer, who accomplished her goal by writing in-studio for this project instead of in her bedroom as per usual, was able to write the music that she wanted to this time. By collaborating with Miles Kent (Catch Fire), Chris Curran (PVRIS, Handguns) and Anton Delost (Bearings, Seaway), as well as Brett Romnes (I Am The Avalanche), who recorded the EP at his Barbershop Studios in New Jersey, Farrall has made a record that sounds exactly the way she wanted it to sound – her intention was to make something that couldn’t be pigeonholed.
“Now that I’m not writing solely acoustic music, it definitely has more of a modern feel,” says Farrall, who has previously toured with Elder Brother and Microwave, and embarks on US dates with pop-punks Set It Off in June and UK dates with Aaron West and The Roaring Twenties in September, “but there’s also this alternative vibe and I can’t quite pin down what genre you would class it as. The main goal – or I guess you could say the fear – was to make sure each track didn’t sound anything like the last, which would give you the feeling of listening to a playlist. I didn’t want there to be a specific sound – I wanted it to include different elements of everything I listen to.”
The outcome is an EP with five beautifully incohesive and sporadic tracks that depict the real life double-minded nature of an aching heart and emotional limbo; a melancholic euphoria.