Lizzy McAlpine enters a new era with ‘Older’

Lizzy McAlpine unveils new music to an enthusiastic fanbase. Photo courtesy of DORK


When Lizzy McAlpine announced the release of her third album, “Older”, on Feb. 13, she described the 14 songs as “the best I’ve ever made.” That is a tall order for fast-rising McAlpine who has amassed a dedicated following through her uniquely melodic voice and immensely talented lyricism. Her previous albums, “Give Me A Minute” and “Five Seconds Flat”, showcased her pop-folk music mastery and resonated deeply with fans, particularly young ones. 

In her upcoming album, the 24 year old explores the difficulties of maturation. “Older” depicts McAlpine’s transitional period in life, including the bleak beauty of burned bridges and new beginnings. The 46-minute album spans breakups and self-discovery, with many aspects still a mystery. While these themes are not entirely unique, McAlpine has more than proven herself to be capable of originality, balancing relatability and singularity with ease. 

First-year elementary education major Audrey Stricker appreciates McAlpine’s relatable songwriting. 

“I like that her music is different than a lot of artists that I listen to,” Stricker said. “It’s a sad genre obviously, but she has more meaning in her songs than just being sad.” 

Stricker hopes that McAlpine will stay close to previous works in her upcoming album. 

“I’m hoping to see a lot of what we already know,” Stricker said. “ … I think I want her to stay similar and true to her style, which I think she will from seeing her new singles.” 

The lead single and title track were released on the same day as the album announcement, and about a month later, on March 13, “I Guess” was also made available to fans. Both tracks feature a slow, heartbreaking melody that emphasizes her yearning for answers as she ages. In “Older” McAlpine sings, “Over and over, a carousel ride / Pay for your ticket, watch the red moon climb / Sick to my stomach, can’t find the ground / Stuck in a loop, watch the curtain come down.” 

McKenna Curless, a first-year creative media and entertainment major, has been a fan of Lizzy McAlpine for nearly four years. She felt especially connected to “Older” because of the song’s authenticity. 

“I think it really resonates with listeners,” Curless said. “The song talks about the fears of getting older, and especially being in college now, it really hits close to home.” 

Curless hopes McAlpine will continue making her classic dulcet melodies but is also interested in seeing if she will try something new musically in her upcoming album. 

“She’s an artist that I go to when I want a more mellow vibe, but she also has done some upbeat songs in the past, and I think that those are also very good,” Curless said. “So, to see more of that on the new album would be really cool.” 

“Older” was produced in collaboration with McAlpine by Ryan Lerman, Mason Stoops, Jeremy Most and Tony Berg, all of whom have experience working with seasoned artists. This production team is almost entirely different from her previous album, so a slightly new sound is somewhat expected by audiences. While that change may be welcome, fans are still hopeful that McAlpine’s familiar spirit remains within this new era. Her meticulous arrangement of each rich piano chord and harrowing word in her singles has validated that wish. Fans anticipate that brilliance within the 12 other tracks on “Older” as well. 

Junior music education major Lily Falberg discovered McAlpine through her piano teacher, who believed she was sure to make it big. He showed her “Pancakes For Dinner”, a beloved song on “Give Me a Minute”, and Falberg was immediately hooked by McAlpine’s distinctive and warm sound. She believes that “Older” is the pinnacle of McAlpine’s growth as an individual. 

“When you [get] older, you become more mature, and you’re realizing who you are as a person,” Falberg said. “I feel like this is kind of her album where she’s like, ‘I know who I am now. This is what I want to play.’” 

Lizzy McAlpine’s “Older” tour begins April 21 in San Diego, California, and will travel to major U.S. cities, including Chicago for Lollapalooza, and internationally. McAlpine is stepping into the major music scene and bringing all her delicately crafted sound, quiet introspection and fresh enlightenment with her. In an interview with DORK, McAlpine gave her perspective on the album. 

“Through the long and mostly tumultuous journey of making it, I have learned who I am as a person, who I want to be as an artist and what kind of art I want to make,” McAlpine said. “This album is a culmination of that growth, showcasing the rawest and most honest version of me.” 

“Older” will be available to stream on all major music platforms on April 5. Tickets for her upcoming tour can be purchased through Ticketmaster.


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