To set the scene, a humble sized group gathered in a rustic retreat situated on the top floor of Newcastle’s quirky Bar Loco to escape the fog-filled winter evening and melt into an evening of acoustic delights. Armed with a pint or two, we were ready to be charmed by Lissie’s Heart Murmur’s recently released EP, Talk to Me.
Lissie’s Heart Murmur (aka Elizabeth Cutts) is not a household name quite yet but after seeing her performance and becoming utterly mesmerised by her sound; I’ve no doubt that she’ll be a festival favourite and playing at countless renowned venues in no time. After a brief introduction, she took to the stage. A single strum of her guitar seemed to be all it took to prick each ear in the room. She effortlessly began to sing, plucking at the strings and modestly scanning the audience. Just a brief glimpse around the small venue and it was clear that each listener was completely enchanted by the music.
Talk to Me was released on November 13th, so Cutts has been busy clustering numerous performances into a small amount of time. However, in no way did her packed diary of gigs take away the emotion in her performance, which was truly compelling. Elizabeth’s breathy voice and occasional slur was paired with blues-inspired guitar riffs and heartfelt lyrics. She didn’t allow for any distractors to take away from the performance; it was simply a woman and her guitar, making the performance simple but oh-so-effective. This is often difficult to find in the increasingly commercialised music industry so it was refreshing to witness a set which focused purely on raw talent. Her setlist included the likes of ‘Talk to Me’, ‘Walking to You’ and ‘Alison’; all of which were greeted by heavy applause.
Cutts radiates flair. I may well be wrong, but it comes across as though she doesn't realise the extent of how talented she really is, making her music especially angelic. Her songs are in line with the likes of Cat Power and perhaps even Laura Marling. It’s an exciting era of music at the moment, particularly for singer-songwriters and, even more so, for females. They’re defying the assumptions of society and Lissie’s Heart Murmur fits in perfectly with this sector. She sings about what she wants to, not what she's expected to. ‘This one is for my friends and family; especially my parents who are here today, and my boyfriend back in Leeds’. Elizabeth’s parents who are in the audience look on proudly as her ethereal presence fills the room and she settles blissfully into the next track. Each note she sang echoed her gratitude for the support she received from the audience. By the end of her set, the room was taken aback by what they’d heard and were left craving more. There were even a couple of heckles from the audience requesting an extra song or two. I must admit, it was an honour to attend Lissie’s Heart Murmur’s set on Friday night and I wish her the best of luck with the progress of this EP.