ELIZA is an artist who has seen much change over the last few years. Since the release of her sophomore album, In Your Hands, she split from her record label to release music independently. As she walked out stage to a busy O2 Forum Kentish Town, more than a few months pregnant, it looked like more change was ahead for the soon-to-be mother.
ELIZA has released two independent albums: 2018’s A Real Romantic and 2022’s A Sky Without Stars. The change in sound was stark – her first two albums’ whimsical and playful melodies were replaced with sensual music full of deep bass lines, slow grooves, and sometimes sparse lyrics. This deeper sound was on full display as she performed in North London on Friday, 17th November.
The set felt like a journey through a relationship as ELIZA performed slow set pieces intertwined with dancy and carefree numbers. “Alone & Unafraid” has bodies rhythmically grooving and “Lava/Treacle” had the dancefloor busy with super subtle hints of Bossa Nova.
The audience knew her music intimately; the first few seconds of each intro generated a large cheer of recognition from the masses of fans filling the dancefloor. The crowd was lively, with even the smallest of choreographed moves from ELIZA and her two backing vocalists resulted in a crescendo of cheers.
On “Whoever You Are”, she performed much of the song with just a guitar to create a powerful movement that stilled the crowd for a moving delivery. And then, a few songs later, the audience was in good voice to belt back the lyrics of “Wasn’t Looking For Love” back at the singer-songwriter.
ELIZA’s show was sensual and fun, a trip through the highs and even highers of love. Her last two albums have enabled ELIZA to find herself as an artist and create a sound which almost feels celebratory in how free it is. I am sure motherhood will open another musical chapter for ELIZA, and I cannot wait to hear what that sounds like.
Words + Photography by Robert Alleyne