Written by: Rylee Thomas
Folksy. Introspective. Cottagecore-esque. Lizzy McAlpine’s 13-track album Give Me a Minute (2020) explores love lost and found. When I’m making my bed in the morning, or when I’m walking around campus and I want to be alone with my feelings, this is what I play.
I discovered Give Me a Minute in a quintessentially Gen-Z way. One evening, I was scrolling through TikTok, and, over and over, I kept seeing videos of girls dramatically running through parking lots and fields in long dresses to the song “ceilings” by Lizzy McAlpine. A song about daydreaming about a made-up romance, “ceilings” was an enthralling, relatable listen for my writer-brain.
Naturally, after hearing “ceilings” for the first time, I had to go listen to Lizzy McAlpine’s entire discography. Though “ceilings” comes from her sophomore album, Five Seconds Flat, which I did enjoy, I fell more deeply in love with her debut, Give Me a Minute. Against the backdrop of a mellow guitar strum and soft vocals, Give Me a Minute portrays the bittersweet uncertainty surrounding the lifespan of intimate relationships, from holding on to letting go to starting over.
My three favorite tracks from this album, in order, are “To the Mountains,” “Means Something,” and “Pancakes for Dinner.”
- To the Mountains
“Oh, I’m headed to the mountains / I’ll be back in a week or two / Don’t you try to reach me, ‘cause I won’t pick up for you / I’ve got some things I need to do”
A song about escapism and retreating from the person who prevents you from becoming who you need to be, “To the Mountains” captures an above-it-all feeling. I remember someone once saying that song somehow makes you feel like you’re running toward something instead of running away from someone, and that’s the perfect way to describe the feeling that washes over you when you listen to “To the Mountains.”
- Means Something
“Every time I trust my gut / I think I’m crazy / ‘Cause I don’t know how to put my trust in you / Do you think it means something / That I wrote another song about you?”
When you listen to “Means Something,” you relive the hesitation and anxiety you feel when beginning a new relationship. This song explores the idea of the universe sending signs that two people are meant to be together. Written from the emotional standpoint of someone who has been hurt before, she counters intrusive thoughts that the world doesn’t want her to be happy. Nevertheless, the speaker keeps on writing and singing about the person she loves, because the foundation of love is hope.
- Pancakes for Dinner
“I wanna eat pancakes for dinner / I wanna get stuck in your head / I wanna watch a TV show together / And when we’re under the weather we can watch it in bed”
“Pancakes for Dinner” is a comfort song. The song opens by setting the scene on a plane, which gives the speaker the urge, or maybe the excuse, to confess her feelings. Having pancakes for dinner with the person you love is such an ordinary, quietly happy thing, and that’s all the singer wants with the person she secretly loves: ordinary, quietly happy things. Also, the way Lizzy McAlpine sings “I wanna dress up just to get undressed” just gives me chills.
I love this album. I love that it feels like it gives me a pep talk. The cozy, poetic lyrics of Give Me a Minute evoke the same wistfulness I get from listening to Phoebe Bridgers. Only, when I listen to Phoebe Bridgers, I get to indulge the sadness. Even though Lizzy McAlpine writes about sad things, her music uplifts me.