Glasgow songwriter Lizzie Reid has just released her debut EP, Cubicle, and if you’ve been following BPM then you know it’s a release we’ve been highly excited about. Each new single released, from the heartbreaking “Seamless” to the shrewd “Always Lovely” to the fiery “Been Thinking About You” has displayed a different dimension of wisdom and precision from the newcomer. Put in place on Cubicle, the songs are even stronger, displaying a multi-faceted artist who is just at the very start of a journey that could take her anywhere she desires.
Lizzie agreed to give us some insight on the albums and songwriters that have prodded and provoked her to writing such honest and insightful tunes. Below she picks four records, plus a clutch of others, from contemporaries and classics, all of which can be traced directly to the exquisite results on Cubicle. Before we get into those, enjoy her excellent “Been Thinking About You”.
I remember when this album came out, listening to it and feeling like I had to pick up a guitar instantly. I went into guitar shops to try find a pedal that would recreate the guitar sound predominantly used on the record, holding my phone up to the shop worker’s ear like “FIND ME THIS SOUND!” I didn’t really have a good grasp of guitar effects at the time and couldn’t really identify it myself. This record had a real impact on me and it opened up another door for me and my songwriting and production ideas. Laura Marling has always had a darkness to her music and songwriting, but I think Mike Lindsay’s production takes that to another level and it’s really cool to hear her voice in that context.
Villagers – Darling Arithmetic
Villagers is an all-time favourite band/artist of mine. I’ve seen them play about six times now and every time I’ve come away feeling inspired and incredibly envious of Conor O’Brien’s effortless delivery and ability to leave an audience hanging on every single word and syllable. Darling Arithmetic is a beautiful collection of songs. Conor’s annunciation is infectious and hugely influenced my singing style when I was a teenager. The album also feels like more of an open and direct take on being gay, which really resonated with me at the time and still does.
Phoebe Bridgers – Stranger in the Alps
[Dead Oceans; 2017]
I went through a phase of not being able to listen to this album without crying my eyes out. I love Phoebe Bridgers’ conversational lyric style, which always hits hard when you’re feeling frail. The album is like my best friend that is also having a hard time, and we cry about it together for a bit. I think this record taught me to find more strength in being direct with my lyrics.
Joni Mitchell – Hejira
Joni Mitchell is obviously the queen of singer/songwriter music. It feels weird to even write about her. This album reminds me of driving to London from Glasgow. She sings of the “white lines of the freeway” as I cruise down past the hills, in the sunshine with my family. Her story telling is like no other. It’s just beautiful, not to mention the incredible jazz musicians that play on this record, including Jaco Pastorius, and Neil Young on the harmonica! Of course, I am influenced by Joni, but if I could tell a story even a fraction as good as her, then I’d be a happy happy lady.
I can’t pick a last album because there are too many to choose from. But shout outs to Nilüfer Yanya’s Miss Universe, Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill, Haley Heynderickx’s I Need to Start a Garden and Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago.
Lizzie Reid’s debut EP, Cubicle, is out now on Seven Four Seven Six.