ELIZA's Self-Reinvention Comes full Circle with Debut, A Real Romantic

 Evan Dale // Dec 14, 2018 

The reinvention of Eliza Lovechild has been one of the most tantalizing storylines of 2018, and undeniably delivered some of the best music. All that’s needed to know is that she goes by ELIZA now. All caps and all soul. 


In what we’ll call the old artist’s new persona’s debut project, where her five debut singles melt into a quartet more, A Real Romantic take shape. It feels like a microcosm of her transition into something new, diving head first into the world of undertone soul and mellow romanticism, emerging the voice of a romantically-forward, sensually-silky movement where jazz, soul, and R&B coalesce perfectly with understated instrumentation. The result is something of an enigma, both in person and in product where A Real Romantic and each of its individual building blocks feel like being dropped into a live performance in a dark speakeasy. 


ELIZA’s vibrant, emotionally-evoking vocal delivery overpowers a jazz kit and toe-tapping basslines on each track, leaving the honest imperfections in her voice and its accompanying vulnerability open and unshielded, only adding to the atmosphere of a live jazz gig. In the process, the album becomes more intimate – a word that perhaps best than any other describes the heading of her new direction. 


After all, intimacy isn’t only a feeling derived from the album, it’s also the predominant theme. Taking on romance, lust, sexuality, and after-hours heartbreak isn’t an easy chore for anyone. And it’s even more difficult when putting one’s vocals so prevalently on display. But in its essence, its intimacy is what comes to make A Real Romantic such a powerful project. Expressing thoughts we all wish we had the courage to address our partners with in a tone we all wish we had the natural talent for, ELIZA exists as the subconscious dealings of the real romantic inside of each and every one of us. 


That leaves A Real Romantic – a project nearly impossible to compare without utilizing one name in particular – Aaliyah – the kind of project we imagine Aaliyah herself would be making had she been born to a different era. It’s meditative, vocally-dominated, emotionally-evoking, and inventive in ways that are making the UK’s romantically-centered neo-soul explosion the most intriguing movement happening in music right now. 


It’s also one of the broadest. Where her countrywomen and counterparts, Mahalia and Poppy Ajudha are also putting together some of the most important, innovative, jazz-inspired neo-soul, ELIZA is doing so in a way more vocally centered, more meditative, and more introspective. From beginning to end, A Real Romantic unfolds as ELIZA’s deepest diary pages, inviting with them feelings of relationship nostalgia, pain, and desires across a wide emotional breadth. 


Wide Eyed Fool, Wasn’t Looking, Livid, Alone & Unafraid, and All Night – ELIZA’s debut five-pack that have themselves been unearthed over the past year or so – are somehow so perfectly placed throughout the finished product that it seems she had every intention and understanding of how A Real Romantic would eventually come to subsist. And it does so with obvious purpose. 


Building from its opener, Game – the rest of the project follows suit. Games are played, promises broken, and feelings stepped on working through the ensuing handful of tracks. When Grizzly comes around – a short albeit key interlude where an unknown voice drops a hardly believable but romantically intact Band-Aid on the open wounds torn by ELIZA’s emotion, the listener is in need of a heroic change of pace. Onward, ELIZA delivers again, tackling anger and desertion with Loveable and building into perseverance and forward movement with Alone & Unafraid and a touch of worrying circularity to the whole storyline with All Night


The gripping, relatable storyline, the incredible vocalism, and the understated instrumentation make A Real Romantic important and innovative and a wide swatch of creative scales, and make it a debut well worth the wait – well worth the weight.


The Nashville Hip-Hop artist is a bridge between the past and the present where rap's most sacred tenants, rhythm & poetry, coalesce with his vision for modern social progress and  damn good vibes. 


We spoke on the creative change of pace, on the process of piecing together what’s next, on performance, collaboration, and influence. His responses duly read of honesty, humbleness, and soul.  


Born in and permanently inspired by Houston, Bobby Earth finds heavier inspiration only at the crossroads of soul music and love.  


Splitting time between his home and Los Angeles, wide-ranging Jamaican artist of sunshiny vibes and warm-weather anthems, Tessellated is impossible to box in. 



Kwaku Asante | honeycomb


Ari Lennox | Shea Butter Baby


Freddie Gibbs | Best in Show


YBN CordaeThe Lost Boy


Cousin Stizz | Best in Show


SAINt JHN | Best in Show


Kwaku Asante | honeycomb

Ari Lennox | Shea Butter Baby

Brandon Banks | SELF

YBN Cordae | The Lost Boy 

KTOE | I'm Mad

Freddie Gibbs | Bandana

Femdot | Rap City

Kojey Radical | Cashmere Tears

Ciscero | Good to Know

Joey B & Boj | No Waste Time

Smino | Trina

Serious Klein | Lil Capo

[2018  IN REVIEW]


Mahalia | 2018's

Best Artist


2018's Best Projects


2018's Best Artists


SAINt JHN| 2018's Best

New Artist 


Noname's Room 25 | 2018's Project of the Year


2018's Best New Artists



MfnMelo & Saba | What A Life 

TOBi | Faces 

Rexx Life Raj | Father Figure 3 


Christian Kuria | Losing You 

Jacquees | King of R&B 

Bennett | Give Me A Reason  


Kwaku Asante | Sunday 

Berhana | HAN 

Free Nationals | Shibuya 


Adekunle Gold | Young Love

SIDIQ | Brand New Day 

Jesse Markin | Folk 


ROLE MODEL | oh, how perfect 

Omar Apollo | Hit Me Up 

Emerson Leif | Wake Up With You 


FKJ | Yling Ylang 

Tourist | Kin 

Shmuck the Loyal | Hypervade 



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