Lizzy McAlpine: The Indie Artist to Watch

McAlpine, an indie singer who writes up-and-coming music on heartbreak and coming of age, is bringing her unique lyricism to the musical scene.


Sarah Lydon

Lavanya Manickam’s favorite McAlpine song is one of her unreleased ones, entitled, ‘haven’t stopped yet.’ ” It portrays love in such a genuine and beautiful way; she sings about how it is maintained between two people in the little moments that they share,” said Manickam ’21.

Here is a Spotify playlist of McAlpine's complete discography

By now, many people are familiar with pop sensation Billie Ellish’s unapologetic personality or up-and-coming artist Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘Driver’s License.’ However, a lesser-known artist who is trying to carve out her own niche in the indie/folk music scene is Lizzy McAlpine, a 21-year-old singer-songwriter out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

McAlpine has always been drawn to music and lyricism. When she was in the sixth grade, she began writing her own songs, and before that, she took music classes and practiced playing the piano at her grandmother’s home. McAlpine was studying at Berklee College of Music in Boston, and dropped out in 2020 right before her junior year in order to focus on her music career. She also felt that her Berklee classes were not propelling her career forward but rather confusing her musically. 

McAlpine started becoming famous on TikTok, and she has amassed a following of over 333,000 people and has received over 5.3 million likes. In one of her first TikTok videos, McAlpine sang a song about her ex-boyfriend that blew up with over eight million views, and since then, she has used TikTok as a platform to reach a wide audience. Lavanya Manickam ’21 first discovered McAlpine on TikTok: “Lizzy McAlpine first showed up on my TikTok for-you-page singing a snippet of her song, ‘You ruined the 1975,’ which, sadly, she vows to never release. I just kept listening to it over and over because it was so amazing,” said Manickam.

Unlike most people, the Coronavirus pandemic caused McAlpine’s career to surge forward. Her first LP, Give Me A Minute, was released in 2020 with thirteen tracks, with production help from her Berklee classmate Philip Etherington. McAlpine wrote all of these songs in 2019 while in Spain after experiencing a significant heartbreak. In an interview, McAlpine mentioned that she draws a lot of her musical inspiration from artists such as Phoebe Bridgers and Dodie, and hinted that she plans on collaborating with Bridgers in the future. In April 2021, McAlpine released her first EP, When The World Stopped Moving: The Live EP, which has eight tracks. 

I find a lot of comfort in McAlpine’s music. Her range, both vocal and lyrical, is impressive, and the emotions of depression and young heartbreak that she discusses tap into universal feelings.  Her lyrics focus on the small pleasures and moments in life and relationships, a nice departure from the flashier subjects of more mainstream pop music.

When asked what makes McAlpine’s music so unique, Manickam said, “First off, it would be her outstanding lyricism. She sings about scenarios that are so specific and clearly [draw] from her experiences but that are just so beautiful that anyone can resonate with them. Her songs are peaceful and soft, but they never make me sad — they’re more heartwarming. She also can sing really well and is always slipping in runs with her voice whenever she can, and she is very talented at playing the guitar.” Manickam recommends McAlpine’s music to everyone.

With over 204,000 Instagram followers and over one million monthly listeners on Spotify, McAlpine is an artist to keep on your radar. In addition to her recent EP, McAlpine revealed that she will be debuting a new album soon, and she has consistently been releasing singles on SoundCloud. If you are looking for a blossoming indie musician, I highly recommend that you listen to a few of McAlpine’s songs — she might become one of your favorite artists.

Lizzy McAlpine’s lyrics focus on the small pleasures and moments in life and relationships, a nice departure from the flashier subjects of more mainstream pop music.