Lizzy Farrall spent much of her childhood among the hilly valleys of rural Wales. Her mother homeschooled her and her five siblings until Farrall was 16 years old, and the teen spent much of her time outdoors. One of her fondest memories is of her and her brothers reenacting Lord of the Rings in the farmland and nature that encircled their house that sat atop a hill. She usually played the part of Samwise Gamgee. Another of her frequent activities was sitting outside and writing songs.
Farrall’s songs, at least so far, are filled with the peaks and valleys of teenage romance and heartbreak and the intricacies of coming of age. With a quivering voice with a delivery that’s reminiscent of Julien Baker, Farrall sings about more than teenage angst, however. She recalls her own mental health issues and family conflict; her parents divorced when she was 11.
“Coming from quite a big family, there’s a lot of dysfunctional aspects of that,” Farrall said. “When I was feeling down, that was my coping mechanism—writing [it] out. That’s how I got through a lot of my teenage hormones … just learning and figuring out life, really.”
The U.K. singer-songwriter is about to introduce herself for the first time with a debut EP, All I Said Was Never Heard, and a tour of the U.K. supporting emo and punk-rockers Seaway.
Lizzy Farrall’s parents provided much of her early musical taste. Her father was a fan of Sting and the Police, while her mother shifted between Marilyn Manson and Rage Against the Machine to Celine Dion. She settled in the middle with an appreciation of Damien Rice. Farrall’s songs, such as the bittersweet “Better Off,” recall Travis. She also cites Modern Baseball, White Lies and The Story So Far as influences.
“I really like that kind of sort of modern emo I’m really into at the moment,” she said. “I’ve totally progressed into more of that style.”
Farrall has written songs since she was a child. Having no formal education meant she and her siblings had more time to themselves.
“I loved being outside; it was all singing and writing songs,” she said. “I didn’t want to do much schoolwork. I was a pain. My mum she says it until this day that I would never sit down and do anything but sing.”
After her parents divorced, she moved with her mother to Chester, in the northwest of England, toward Liverpool. After so many years in nature, living in the center of the small town was a huge change. Farrall still feels more comfortable in nature. The video for debut song “Broken Toy” was filmed in the wilderness of Snowdonia, a national park in north Wales, the largest mountain range in the country.
In the video, Farrall delivers the delicate vocals—“I’ll forever be that broken toy on your shelf”—standing in front of a glassy lake. The ambient noise and icy reverb, again, not unlike Julien Baker, was influenced by her love of the outdoors and nature.
“When I write stuff acoustically, it tends to be quite simple, but I want to make it eerie and [add an] ambient feel to it.”
“Broken Toy” was one of the first songs Farrall wrote the lyrics to. The song, which kicks off the EP, is about her first relationship and heartbreak. It’s followed, two tracks later, by the upbeat rocker “Better With,” a more uplifting song about the beginning of another relationship. While the song is a peak, another valley follows with its counterpart: “Better Off.” While in the former, Farrall looks beyond her past failures, in the latter, she admits to looking past the cracks in her current position.
“I’m saying, in ‘Better Off,’ [that] everything I’m singing about wasn’t exactly how it seemed,” she said. “That relationship that I’m singing about that didn’t turn out that great. Everything [initially] seems amazing, but when you step back and think; actually, there’s a lot of underlying stuff going on there.”
Also on the EP is the standout “Pack of Wolves,” where Farrall refers to herself both as a “lone wolf” and “prodigal daughter.”
These days, whenever Lizzy Farrall isn’t writing her songs, she’s into photography and playing video games, and she has a job taking care of the elderly at a care home in Chester. Her mother, who is in the same profession, helped her get the job, which she enjoys. Every once in a while she sings and plays guitar for the residents.
“It just keeps you level-headed in a way; you realize that stuff going on in the world isn’t great, and people need help,” she said. “It’s a hard job, but I really enjoy it.”
Farrall’s fan base should expand beyond the senior circuit with her tour with Seaway and the release of All I Said Was Never Heard.
Beyond that, she’s already working on a full-length album and hopes the time on the road will expand her world and experiences from which to draw for her music.
“I’m hoping that doing that tour is going to open my eyes out to more,” she said.