Today we remember the rising star that was Eliza Jaye who burnt out far too quickly, with the upcoming release of her post humus album, Middle Child. A native of Sydney, Australia, Eliza sadly succumbed to cancer in February of this year. While the devastation felt by her fans is still ever present, there can be some comfort found in knowing her voice can still be heard on a new collection of tracks. The sophomore album from the talented singer; Middle Child is a stark reminder of her talent to craft a song, and her skill to execute it. Spanning across eleven tracks, the late songstress dazzles us with her vocals and takes us on a very emotional ride.
Producer Joe Gibb (Leftfield/Catatonia/The Kinks) recalls – “Eliza has the ability to go from gentle and sweet, to loud and raucous in a flash, her technique is incredible. When recording I’d set a level, but then she would get going, and everything would be in the red, in particular a vintage 1970s compressor – but it sounded great, so I left it be.”
The songs themselves are perfect in their balance of melody, instrumentation and production; often growing from her inquisitive lifestyle of travel and adventure. With a blend of New Wave sass and Punk bravado; it is the versatile and layered brilliance of her voice that first strikes the listener, with her ability to go from tender to raucous in an instant. And as you listen through the album, you can pick out the subtle flavours and influences of artists such as Fleetwood Mac, Fairport Convention and The Bangles; although you can stull undoubtedly hear her unique sound and energy, remaining ever present at the forefront.
Gibb remembers the making of Middle Child:- “Eliza rocked up in sleepy Mumbles [South Wales], in her battered, rusting bus. My curtain-twitching neighbours were horrified! We recorded in my home studio overlooking the garden, it was a very relaxed affair, though Eliza knew exactly what she wanted.
In Middle Child’s closing trilogy of expansive, transcendental tracks, Eliza seems to be coming to terms with her place in the universe. On, Take The Time, the final song of the album – which she wrote at the age of 12 – the last words she sings are – “To happiness”. And these final words and sentiments act as the perfect farewell and end to the stunning and emotional record.
An incredibly special album, definitely give it a listen and show it a lot of love and support! And for more on Eliza Jaye, head here to check out her inspiring blog.