Friday, July 16, 2021

Pizzagirl’s sophomore album 'Softcore Mourn' boasts blissful beats and stellar song writing

Scouse singer-songwriter Liam Brown, aka Pizzagirl, has returned with new album ‘Softcore Mourn’, which is the follow-up to his 2019 debut ‘First Timer’

Having described his first album to Dork as “a weird Frankenstein mash-up”, it’s safe to say that Pizzagirl has continued to push musical boundaries, as he incorporates an array of disco-beats, shiny pop melodies and noise rock on ‘Softcore Mourn’

This unique instrumentation, heartfelt and often witty lyricism and his authentic DIY approach to making music is generating quite a buzz for Pizzagirl.

Ambient intro ‘Softcore Mourn’, opens the album with a cacophony of synths and a ton of distortion. It transitions seamlessly into the sizzling ‘Car Freshener Aftershave’, which features a harpsichord melody. The jaunty ‘Al Pacino’ is a more upbeat affair, which showcases some of Pizzagirl’s witty lyricism as he sings “you took my favourite t-shirt and put it straight on eBay”. Its pop culture references like this which make his songs so relatable to the listener. The track also features one of Pizzagirl’s best vocal performances, as he reaches a falsetto at its climax. As the instrumentation decelerates, we’re left with the sparse stomp of a drumbeat which rolls into recent single; ‘Bullet Train’. This track is reminiscent to the sound of Two Door Cinema Club, with its funky instrumentation and reverbed vocals. 

Meanwhile ‘By The Way’ begins in total contrast with a simple jangling guitar melody. As the track progresses, the sparkling synths return, and the threads of humour continue to be weaved as Brown declares “I’m a couch potato in a world of fries”. It absolutely belongs on the soundtrack of a coming-of-age movie. ‘Your Flat Earth Brother (In The Blades of Grass)’ is a pop-punk-inspired tune reminiscent of Weezer’s earlier albums. On the other hand, ‘Golden Ratio’ is pure indie-pop heaven. Driven by a surging guitar melody and interweaved with shimmering synths and a catchy chorus, ‘Golden Ratio’ is a sure standout.

Laidback toe-tapper ‘Moreno’ recalls the twanging guitar sound of Mac DeMarco and features a female backing vocalist, adding an exciting layer of harmonisation to the song. It is further elevated by a string section towards the end, demonstrating Pizzagirl’s versatility and continued experimentation. Latest single ‘Sugar Ray’ is exactly what it says in the title: a saccharine indie-pop song that will have you singing along to its refrain of “Kelly told me that you still listen to Sugar Ray” in no time. Laced with thrashing guitars and underpinned by a buzzing bassline, it is another highlight on the album.

My Favourite Restaurant’ is a nostalgic breakup ballad set against strange synth arrangements which resemble ‘Kid A’-era Radiohead. Lyrically it sees Brown bump into an ex-girlfriend “sipping on a cappuccino” which prompts him to reminisce about their good times together. Melancholy closing track ‘Download The Pain’ muses on heartbreak against a twinkly piano melody. This is Pizzagirl at his most raw and vulnerable. You can even hear him unplugging equipment at the end of the recording, maintaining the DIY bedroom-pop atmosphere that Pizzagirl has become synonymous with.

Softcore Mourn’ sees Pizzagirl continuing to develop his style and treading new ground. The instrumentation is slicker and the lyricism is more profound but still relatable, resulting in an overall sound that will excite listeners new and old, and generating anticipation for what the future will hold.


Sarah Taylor


Image credit: Pizzagirl ‘Softcore Mourn’ Official Album Artwork via Heist or Hit

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