Despite growing up in a sleepy Lancashire village, a Scouse soul runs through Lizzie Hillesdon, AKA Pixey’s second EP, ‘Free To Live In Colour’. The move to study in Liverpool introduced them to what would later become Hillesdon’s adoptive hometown, and she weaves in the vibrancy and colour of the city for a blissful love letter to the current stomping ground.
And much like the city, she’s been up against it at the best of times; a few years back she battled a dangerous viral illness that left her hospitalised. “When I thought I was going to die I thought of all the things I wish I’d done and music was the first thing I thought of. As soon as I started recovering I started learning to record and produce,” she says in an accompanying message.
Firmly believing that being able to write, record and produce is the best asset you can have as a rising artist, ‘Free To Live In Colour’ is a liberating bedroom snapshot that succeeds in telling the story of the city outside those four walls; it’s an artist fully trusting her process in the studio.
The psych-pop guitars on opener ‘Just Move’ are the first to make her North West upbringing known, nodding to musical hero George Harrison and marching to ‘Sgt. Pepper’s beat. When the track shifts into an expansive bass-heavy groove, dream-pop vocals arrive alongside euphoric breakbeats and a soaring one-liner (“Get into the groove / show me how you move”) – grey realities of the last year begin to fade.
The biggest ode to the city and its people comes with ‘The Mersey Line’, taking its name from the river path upon which she used to walk as a child. The spritely track ties brushes of ‘60s-psych with De La Soul-esque sampling; a beaming anthem for the balmy days when the supermarkets are stripped bare of tinnies and green spaces slammed.
‘Free To Live In Colour’ is the perfect balance between satisfying her desire to be self-sufficient in the home environment, while providing music for those (eventual) sociable moments. It’s a blast of colour to start embracing the brighter days starting to emerge on the horizon.
Release date: March 24
Record label: Chess Club