LIMF Academy 2021: Lazygirl

“It’s therapy; songs about mental health and my female experience.”

By Shaun Ponsonby
Wed 24 November, 2021

Combining dreamlike melodies with down-to-earth lyricism exploring mental health, femininity and LGBTQ+ identity, Northampton-born Lazygirl is a bedroom pop, multi-instrumentalist with a lot to say.

Her family was always musical, taking her to the Glastonbury and Reading festivals from a young age and encouraging her in creative pursuits.

I started playing piano at about five,” she says. “But I was bad at it. My oldest sister is an incredible pianist and I wanted to be like her. I did singing lessons in school, singing Do Re Mi, Disney and opera recitals. I also studied classical guitar for five years.”

Her personal eureka moments came with the emo scene, with bands like Panic! At The Disco and Paramore emoting personal or confessional lyrics in front of a more aggressive, post-punk music. Especially seeing the latter’s front person Hayley Williams as one of the few female headliners in the history of the Reading Festival.

With so many creative outlets at such a young age, it is no surprise that she was an outgoing performer in school shows. But it wasn’t until the age of 14 when she performed Joni Mitchell’s River at a village Christmas event that she started finding her feet as a performer; “I loved performing, but hated being vulnerable. I was always terrified of messing up. I am still learning to let go, but that was the first time I allowed myself to do that.

This newfound confidence was shaken soon after, when she suffered a severe mental health episode. As is often the case in these moments, her enthusiasm for music and performance dampened. But through her personal struggles, she was about to make a discovery that helped birth Lazygirl, the name itself a self-deprecating reference.

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Because of my mental health, I wasn’t doing much, and I would say that I was just being lazy as a way to beat myself up,” she admits. “Then I heard these bedroom artists like Clairo and Sophie Meires, and they were collaborating with people on Soundcloud. I thought this could be my way back in.”

Ultimately, as LazyGirl, she was able to meditate on her personal struggles and identity as catharsis.

Though she was successfully collaborating on Soundcloud, the final piece of the puzzle came when she moved to Liverpool to study popular music.

The city differed greatly from her hometown of Northampton. She felt at home in a thriving, creative arts scene, something she hadn’t previously experienced, especially when embraced by female-led promoters like Bitch Palace. This has undoubtedly aided her in finding her creative voice.

My songwriting has become a bit more refined,” she says. “I now know what I want to sing about, and what I want everything to sound like. I’m so much better mentally, and getting better musically and lyrically. It’s therapy; songs about mental health and my female experience. I can be ironic and distance myself from the feeling and turn it into something.”

Though tied to womanhood and mental health, there is an element of escapism in her music. It is both realistic, and fantasist, as if acknowledging that situations are not perfect, but refusing to wallow in it. There is always hope and optimism on the horizon.

I want to do this because it’s artistic, but I’d like to be comfortable – not in my comfort zone, but comfortable doing music. Not needing a million other part time jobs to make ends meet. That is success to me.”