Glaswegian singer-songwriter Lizzie Reid is a glistening diamond within Scotland’s musical crop that’s just waiting to be excavated. Formerly a bassist in local indie rock band CRYSTAL (now going under the moniker Dead Pony), Reid made the decision a few years ago to pursue music on her own terms – and what a decision that has turned out to be.
“Cubicle” is the artist’s debut EP on the Seven Four Seven Six label. Made in Reid’s home in March 2020 with producer Oli Barton-Wood, the EP was finished just days ahead of the UK-wide lockdown and in a way her debut offers that reminiscent feeling of warmth and comfort we used to cherish without consequence in one another’s company.
For Reid, the EP is a reflection on a formative summer when her first same-sex relationship came to an end. It was a summer of heartbreak and mental disarray but by the end Lizzie grew more comfortable with herself and her sexuality. “It’s really important to me that I got to make something with people I care about and that we created something amazing and genuine,” mentions Reid in a press release, and her six songs stand as microcosms of love, loss, and heartbreak experienced in Glasgow’s streets, nightclubs, and bars.
“Tribute” opens proceedings tinged with grainy background noise, which immediately welcomes us into Reid’s home embrace. The rawest recording on the EP, her fingerpicked guitar style could be danced to a folk-like waltz while her lyrics resolutely tackle her afore mentioned relationship with a sense of acceptance at its core: “If everything lasted as long as you’d like / What would that make you do?”
Following track “Seamless” shifts to electric guitar, which shimmers and reverberates pensively. Reid displays her delicate Glaswegian twang as well as her strongest vocal melodies on the EP in this track, which couple with tonality changes in the choruses dazzlingly.
The intake of breath at the beginning of “Always Lovely” continues the intimate feel, inviting us in closely to her folk-style tale. “Company Car” resonates with early Joni Mitchell vibes through its lighthearted feel as Reid confronts her sexuality: “There’s a million different reasons / I wish I could love a man / The way I / Love You.”
The final two tracks of the EP mark a change of direction. Rhythm and jazz influences take center stage in “Been Thinking About You” with stop-start rhythms, snare brushes, and subtle laughs adding depth and personality to the most polished recording of the EP. Title track “Cubicle” rounds things off with Reid nodding to her indie roots, harkening to the likes of Soccer Mommy towards its dynamic conclusion.
Evoking heartfelt tenderness with her enchanting vocal melodies, Reid’s debut EP is noteworthy on a number of levels. Closeness, depth, intimacy, and warmth are abundant throughout, making this one of the most impressive releases to come out of Scotland in recent years. Ultimately, it would be hard not to agree that the future looks bright for Glasgow’s newest singer-songwriter.