Review site: Outline Magazine
Review author: Stuart Evans
Date: July 2022
I settled down to listen to Eliza’s debut album on what is one of the hottest days ever recorded. There’s a haze across my balcony, the plants are looking concerned (don’t worry, they have been watered) and as I press play I genuinely don’t know what I’ll be hearing from the speakers.
With modern technology as it is you don’t have to ‘find’ new music anymore, it is all at your fingertips. Streaming apps, YouTube and even TikTok have taken over the way we listen. But today I’m going back in time, I’ve got a compact disc! And a CD player. Yes I’m hipster and proud.
Why do I mention my listening option today? Well this is an album that deserves to be heard on a physical format. It needs to be taken in and enjoyed in full, with speakers not through a phone. Eliza’s voice is hauntingly beautiful and needs to fill the room (or in this case the outdoors)
Into The Wilderness has a wonderful charm about it. The songs leap out from the stereo, I can hear nods to Kate Bush, Tori Amos, Kate Nash and The Beautiful South. Opening track Howl serenades you straight away, there’s a real nostalgic feel to the track. It sounds like it is from a 70s arthouse movie but also sounds really modern.
Stealing My Fear Away is a slower, brooding song. The harmonies are exceptional throughout the album but especially on this number. Closing my eyes as the sun beats down listening to Eliza sing ‘Don’t let let go...’ is blissful.
The musicianship on this album is truly wonderful, tender and delicate when needed but also full and brooding. If She Were To Fall for example has a very understated piano playing through it, drawing you in.
Recorded at Talking Cat Recordings you can feel the love and passion pour from the album. Eliza means every word that is sung. Love songs that are loved. My favourite track, Singing With My Ghosts, has even got a Mogwai feel to its instrumental loop, music to my ears literally!
Admittedly I don’t often listen to folk/acoustic albums, I tend to lean towards noise and distortion. But this record is an absolute delight, it is one you can get absolutely lost in. I’ll be playing Into The Wilderness on the regular.
Eliza received the Bright Spark award at the University Of East Anglia, don’t be surprised if her next award is the Mercury Music Prize.
Into The Wilderness is available on all your usual streaming services but please contact Eliza and buy a CD, support your local poet.