Having already won the Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent Competition in 2007, Liz Green had a lot to live up to. Since then, although not hitting the mainstream, she’s released a great little album in O, devotion! and won the appreciation of many critics and fans as a talented artist. The good thing about Liz is she was never meant to be a mainstream artist; her passion lies in being different, being clever and not being afraid to try something new. You’ve got to love an artist that strives for originality away from the masses, and that’s exactly what Liz does well on new album Haul Away!
Album opener Battle is full of eclectic sounds and strange rhythms which is almost like a sea shanty, and will have you feeling lost at sea in a good way. “will you watch out for me when I’m suffering and bury me when I’m found” sings Liz in a voice that quavers and really gives into the atmosphere of the piece. Title track Haul Away gently draws you in with a beautiful piano intro, before breaking into a jazzy skiffle with a tempo change so sudden and fleeting that it grabs your attention before switching back and slowing down again. It’s a trick that’s used sparingly throughout the record and helps to make sense of the many different styles on offer.
There’s a definite Jewish music feel on some of the tracks, a rarely used style in the popular scene, and Liz works her magic with it really well, especially on track Rybka: “will you let me in this time’ sings Green as the music dances behind her. You cant say this singer is boring – one minute she’s all blues and folk, the next jazz and skiffle, and anything else she cares to throw in. Her vocals are as far ranging as her music, sounding like a mix between Zooey Deschanel, Lily Allen and Morrisey if they were all thrown in to a giant mixer and released as a gooey mass onto the world.
The lyrics on show here are insightful and deep; anything but throwaway and create a real classic feel throughout. She seems able to analyse any situation with the use of poetry and gets away with it without sounding pretentious, which is quite a feat.
Little i shows that no matter how many instruments and distractions she throws into the works, piano is where her real talent lies. She’s so good at picking out beautiful sequences and seems to effortlessly come around with piano parts that will stir emotions in you that you never thought you had. The track features the best intro on the album, backed with a sound that can only be described as attacking bees; this is all bathed in a sombre tone with no need for lyrics – addictive, emotional, perfect.
To be honest, Liz’s piano skills are so good she could have just released an album of her sat down and tinkling the ivories, but she strives to be different and that’s commendable in this heavily restricting age of music. Haul Away! is rarely boring and a real change from the norm if you’re looking for something fresh. More awards are sure to be flying Liz’s way in the future.