The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Spectator Sing Along Power Hour

Lizzy McAlpine’s ‘five seconds flat’ is painfully perfect for October, just saying

Like many people, I like to associate certain musicians with different phases of the ever-changing weather. 

I have my seasonal favorites: Leith Ross and Fleetwood Mac for spring, Lana Del Rey and Joni Mitchell for summer, The Beatles and Taylor Swift for fall, Sarah Kinsley and Phoebe Bridgers for winter.

However, there is one artist who I can never part with, regardless of the temperature: Lizzy McAlpine.

Though I listen to her year-round, my favorite time of the year to listen to her is fall, specifically the month of October.

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Lizzy McAlpine is a 24-year-old musician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and fits most often into the folk-pop genre.

I first discovered Lizzy McAlpine in late 2020, not long after her debut album “Give Me a Minute” was released on August 13, 2020.

At the time, I felt as though I didn’t have an artist that was just mine. Up until then, I had solely based my taste in music on whatever was playing on the radio. Then, by some stroke of luck, Lizzy McAlpine showed up.

Since then, she has been one of my top five artists every year. I haven’t let a day go by without at least thinking about her and her music.

People may recognize her from the sudden rise of streams and popularity she gained earlier this year for her song “ceilings,”

That song is one of many on her absolute masterpiece of an album: “five seconds flat,” which was released on April 8, 2022. 

This album, in my opinion, is the only music that anyone should be playing during the month of October. Don’t get me wrong, I listen to this album year-round. That being said, the production, musically, fits the fall season best.

The album itself is a brutally honest confessional of the love and longing a person can feel for relationships, romantic or platonic.

The album opens up with “doomsday,” which happens to be my personal favorite from the album and the one I listen to every single Halloween without fail. It encapsulates the feeling of being in a relationship despite knowing that it will end terribly.

Lizzy McAlpine is truly one of the most incredible lyricists I have ever come across. Her ability to turn personal thoughts into universal feelings is one that I will never understand, but will be forever grateful for.

“I’d have liked to plan out my part in this / but you’re such a narcissist that you did it on Halloween,” is a line that I think about daily. The sincere heartbreak in her voice leaves me rewinding that section of the song constantly.

A few songs later, your ears are blessed with the wonder that is “all my ghosts.” The song tells the story of all of the pieces of a relationship that haunt a person after it’s over.

A favorite line of mine is, “They know all of my habits / but they don’t know about you.”

The song perfectly balances its compelling story and melodic and upbeat musicality.

Now, no album claiming to be about the longing for a lost relationship does any good without a little bit of anger. That’s where “firearm” comes in.

The song, though calm at first, escalates into the true anger that people usually don’t feel justified to hold.

A line that shows this is, “You had me convinced that you loved me.” 

There are times that I feel like Lizzy McAlpine can genuinely read my mind. To be able to put such a big feeling into only eight words is a talent that I can only ever dream of having.

Though most of the album is easy listening, it takes a strong-willed individual to stomach the pain of “chemtrails.” The song is about the passing of McAlpine’s father, and how she sees reminders of him everywhere.

A line that shares this is, “I see chemtrails in the sky, but I don’t see the plane.”

This album, in all capacities, is genuinely everything to me, as is all of her music. And, if I’m being completely honest, so is she. What I would be doing if I had not found Lizzy McAlpine, I don’t know, and I don’t want to know for that matter.

Braun can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Elyse Braun
Elyse Braun, Chief Copy Editor

Elyse Braun is second-year journalism and psychology student. This is her second semester on The Spectator. If you can't find her she's either reading a book, getting coffee with friends or hanging out with her mom.

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