- This event has passed.
September 10 | 19:30£10
We’re delighted to be joined by Liverpool pop prince Pizzagirl at Record Junkee this September for a special show as part of the Music Venue Trust & National Lottery’s #ReviveLive campaign.
In the hopes that we can bring mates together again for a night of incredible live music, you can buy a ticket to this show and bring a friend along for free!
The free ticket holder just needs to demonstrate they’re a National Lottery player by showing either a physical or digital lottery ticket at the door. This can be a weekly draw ticket or a scratch card, and they must be over 18 years old to purchase and hold a National Lottery product. The name in which the show ticket is booked does not need to present a lottery ticket, and can adhere to the age restrictions of the venue (in our case 14+).
“Pizzagirl is a revolving door. I like the idea of not knowing from which entrance I’ll emerge.” To date, the audio randomiser that is Liam Brown has spat out two EPs:‘An Extended Play‘ & ‘season 2’ (2018) and debut album: ‘first timer.’ (2019). While the extended players plaited together wonky 1-900-hotline-rock and ambient infomercial electronica into perfect pop pigtails, the LP styled the rest of the Pizzagirl mannequin to deliver a Frankenstein record of split-personality genre jumping.
Liverpool based and self-producing out of his home studio (The Beatzzeria), plaudits from the likes of The Guardian, The Sunday Times, Vice, Highsnobiety, NME, DIY and The Line of Best Fit confirm Pizzagirl’s status as a unique, quick-witted and vital energy. DJs are also lining up to call themselves fans, with the UK’s most trusted ears in Annie Mac and Huw Stephens at Radio 1 and Lauren Laverne, Shaun Keaveny, and Radcliffe & Maconie at BBC 6 Music all backing his tracks. With a string of UK & European headline tours under his belt, rarely has someone made the art of “sitting in my room in my early twenties” so remarkable.
Following the release of standalone single ‘cape canaveral’’ in early 2020 – a track about a clandestine detective in a cream mac scrambling through the dusk and stumbling upon a secret, cult-like party on a derelict space base – Liam was set to make his debut at SXSW. To say the appearance was ill fated is putting it mildly, or perhaps putting it correctly. As the world was brought to its knees by a global pandemic, Liam found himself in a “mad hiatus of life” and retreated to craft sophomore album ‘softcore mourn.’ “While the first records represented Pizzagirl jumping through genre hoops, this time out I’m walking down one road.”
That’s not to say ‘softcore mourn’ is one-note affair, or a heel turn for the Pizzagirl character, more “a continuation of an ongoing musical puberty.” As with all rights-of-pubic-passage, what has emerged is a more coherent sense of development.
Part surreptitious hit maker and part clinically-out-of-it TV host veering dangerously off script, on ‘softcore mourn’ Liam serves post-sad:“90s/early noughties Elliot Smith dejection. I like to be 20 years behind the curve. In 2030, I’ll put out a nu-rave album.” Ripe with themes of voyeurism, conspiracy, remoteness and heartbreak, the collection drips with a malaise and disquiet akin to the words we never hear Bill Murray whisper to Scarlett Johansson at the end of ‘Lost in Translation’. The same hotel-enforced-detachment pervades the album art wherein we witness a sedate Pizzagirl on an undefined floor of a neon-glazed office block making out with a desktop PC. This disconnect from reality and embracing of artifice works threefold: a consideration of the ways in which technology is used to ostracise, as a metaphor for lockdown and as an exploration of the boundary where Liam meets Pizzagirl. It’s these details that define Liam as an artist:“I feel like your perspective and vision should be longer than the album you’re making. It’s the Steve Jobs Apple mentality. He said something like ‘if you want to make good software you have to make good hardware.’”
By his own admission, Liam has been “tanning Phoebe Bridgers” of late. It is in the space occupied by her, Tegan and Sara, Alex G, American Football, Life Without Buildings and Daniel Johnston that is the album spiritually resides. While those artists inform the helix of ‘softcore mourn’s’ DNA, its personality contains all the pop hooks and charisma that Pizzgirl has become known for. Lines such as “you kissed your plastic surgeon with lips I know he’s been working on” (bullet train’) fizz with absurdist wit, yet serve to investigate the theme of artifice. “If I die before I post” (‘sugar ray’) is a pithy and subversive reminder that Liam is cable of an almost a Wildean turn of phrase, if Wilde had an iPhone. Elsewhere, he breaks new ground for the Pizzagirl character by addressing real-world issues. The interplay between isolation and technology is a concern voiced on his most political song yet: ‘moreno’. An open letter “reaching out to those young disillusioned teenagers getting swayed on some far right sub-reddit.” As a natural progression, conspiracy theories are probed on ‘flat earth brother’ where he prods at paradox: “he’s covered up his webcam so no one else can see him but they’re still watching us through the screens.”
While Liam remains executive producer his ‘warm and creative’ relationship with fellow audiophile Saam Jafarzadeh (Her’s, Brad Stank) led to the latter mixing the record and introducing organic kits to some of the tracks; a development that had its inception in the live world, when in 2019 Pizzagirl grew from a solo venture to a full-band experience. Saam mixed live sound on those headline tours and was therefore the natural midwife when it came to delivering soundwaves to wax. The partnership has broadened the project’s sonic pallet, coaxing out minutiae in the production to enhance the storytelling, dynamics and overall confidence of the album.
Blending his obsession with decades of pop culture, internet memes and David Byrne, Liam continues to deliver his pop-heavy Twilight Zone twist on indie, only with more clarity of direction. While the initial releases sprayed the bodywork in an 80s aesthetic: “You look back at that decade and it was really fun and vibrant. I was simply trying to bring that back into today’s consciousness.” ‘softcore mourn’ is a deliberate coin flip. A new season of the Pizzagirl boxset. The hotly anticipated software patch.