Lizzie Nunnery possesses a unique voice with echoes of the English tradition, yet spins a tale with her lyrics that manages to be both contemporary and timeless. A modern-day English maiden, singing with her gorgeous northern accent to the fore, Lizzie delivers an utterly arresting vocal with a tremolo that lays bare her emotions and may well leave you flailing helplessly in love. There is a resolute quirkiness that nestles within Lizzie's writing and performance that further builds on her plentiful charms.
Company of Ghosts is a fitting title for Lizzie's debut release; one quickly becomes aware that it's an album replete with ghosts. Secluded amongst each of the twelve songs, should you look and listen, are ghosts of colourful street characters, back-street pub drunks, past lovers, close friends, and ghosts of ones own hopes and fears. Inhabiting new homes within Lizzie's vivid lyrics, stories and characters are portrayed with a minimalism that leaves enough clues for you to piece together the bigger picture.
Opening with "England Loves A Poor Boy," Lizzie quickly hits her stride, with a derisory take on a nation's bloodthirsty obsession with war, sang to the military march of a snare drum and the more nimble precision of a ringing banjo. This is followed by "Hungry," a song that is already something of an anthem amongst those in the know, with its familiar tale of a troubled or unfulfilled love, made all the more intimate with the brusque honesty of the disappointed lover: "I starve for you inside, dance you round my head, I go hungry to bed."
"Pubs That Never Close" depicts a perpetual urge to escape the troughs of life's low points in search of never-ending parties, picking up or kicking out a few pieces of life's dirty linen along the way: "...let's all drag our parties out in to the road, let's all drag our arguments and dramas to explode." In contrast to this flagrant summons, "Concertina" offers a delightfully intimate character portrait, recounted with a manifest perception and warmth that genuinely sets Lizzie apart from less memorable writers.
The title track is an intriguing piece, with an intense, spoken narrative that evokes bold imagery, not least because it is delivered with the relentless charm of Lizzie's unpretentious northern diction. "On His 60th Birthday" aches with prettiness, finding strength in the resolve of the lyrics, as they cascade over a simple, understated ukulele.
Company Of Ghosts undoubtedly heralds the arrival of an artist with a distinct talent to offer, through the unmistakeable beauty of her other-worldly voice, and her refreshingly direct lyrics.
Lizzie's website is here!
Lizzie's MySpace page is here!