A breathtaking collection of stories
Lizzy McAlpine recently released her sophomore album, five seconds flat. This is an impressive collection of songs, many of which gained attention on her Instagram and TikTok over the past year. McAlpine is an accomplished young songwriter that is leaning toward pop and away from the folk sound that dominated her previous album. While this album may be pop-ish, she keeps her artist brand by filling it with intricate lyrics, captivating chords and melodies. She sings about topics from breakups to grief and tells her story through this impressive collection of 14 songs.
The first track on the album, “doomsday,” is full of clever lyrics and beautiful accompaniment. She sings about watching a relationship fall apart and not being able to save it, despite all efforts. She compares the ending to death. The violently gory lyrics of this track are sure to keep the listener on the edge of their seat. Filled with sarcastic and ironic shots fired at an ex who should have treated her better, the story is captivating. The accompaniment and production are also high-quality. With eerie guitar chords and haunting melodies, they match the lyrics. This track is an impressive kick-off song to McAlpine’s second album.
The second single of the album, “erase me,” is just as impressive as the other tracks. Here she collaborates with Jacob Collier, which adds depth to the song’s sound with low harmonies and intricate lyrics that are brutally honest. She sings about seeking comfort in replacing an ex with a stranger’s bed. These feelings only lead to loneliness and the fear of being replaced or “erased” by the ex. This song is filled with captivating guitar chords, floating harmonies and powerful drums.
The tenth track, “firearm,” is an emotion-packed song that reflects on a relationship. Fans might recognize the first verse and chorus from one of her viral Instagram videos or TikToks. She keeps the verse and the first chorus fairly stripped back, similar to her acoustic videos online where the song first hit the public eye. As the song progresses, it becomes more produced to the point of an intense rock-like bridge that matches the escalation of her emotions. She sings about moving on and recognizing the pain that this ex truly put her through during and after the relationship. She once again compares the relationship to a violent scene similar to “doomsday.” Here she sings about a hole in her heart made by a “firearm” and the lasting pain from this feeling.
On the eleventh track, “hate to be lame,” she is joined by FINNEAS for an impressive collaboration. The two originally spoke about the song over Instagram’s direct message, which led to the song coming together. It is a gentle but passionate track. They sing about feeling love for someone but not knowing whether or not they should profess the feelings or if it is worth it. They are trying to hold back from being emotionally charged but end up professing these feelings. The dark piano chords add to the feelings of sadness and insecurity.
One of the last tracks, “chemtrails,” is arguably one of the most heart-wrenching tracks on the album. This song is about her father, who passed away in 2020. She sings about grief through the use of metaphors like chemtrails and lines in the sand. While she can’t see who made these marks, she sees the mark that they have left on the world. She expands these ideas as she sees the marks her father left on her world while she grows up. Accompanied by gentle piano, orchestral strings and finishing with a home video audio of her father talking to her as a young kid, this track is heartbreakingly beautiful.
Overall, Lizzy McAlpine’s second album, five seconds flat, is a breathtaking collection of songs. From heart-stopping lyrics to angelic melodies and captivating production, she shows off her ability to create a unique pop sound while telling personal stories.