Former Les Mis child actress with a passion for romantic, blindfolded, picnics formally harbouring a "cheesy crush" on Southampton's catch phrase spawning crooner Craig David releases her second single this year ahead of her eagerly awaited debut album. Eliza (Sophie Caird) Doolittle has been able to draw on all manner of family artistic endevours for influence and reference (Her mother, Francis Caird, a respected actress and singer even represented the UK in the 1994 Eurovision whilst her highly regarded father is, amongst other things, a Director for the RSC).
Eliza has written songs since she was 12. She says she likes anything from Stevie Wonder to The Arctic Monkeys, and her current favourite song of the week is 'Lets Go Surfing' by those darlings of the NME, The Drums. Championed by Rob Da Bank and Jo Whiley her first single 'Skinny Genes' topped out at #22 when released in April this year. Pack Up should see Eliza better that.
The song and 'sample' (as in 'pack up your troubles in your old kit bag') are paired wonderfully well together. The slight honky-tonk piano refrain has an invitation from Jools wrapped around the keys. The accompanying dirty horns and souring strings add great 50's flavour. The nostalgic rhythm wouldn't be out of place at Jack Rabbit Slims.
Eliza has a voice capable of injecting humour and imparting a lovably cheeky attitude. Flirtatious, confident, light but assured. The vocals are akin to Lily Allen or Kate Nash but without the tiresome affected theatrics or pretensions. Lyrically she's quite sharp too. Not many songs can carry off the phrase 'pooh poohed' and still work.
Credible, infectious pop with wit and bite. Pack Up is a fine taster for what promises to be a great debut album. Eliza will no doubt be delighting audiences this summer as she tours with Jamie Cullum, but if you're very lucky you can catch her at The Beaumont School in St Albans on 19th June as she performs a charity gig for the Princes Trust.