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Priest New Music Pick #28: Let's Play Pretend EP by Abbie Ozard

Here's another in a series of new records I've been listening to a lot in the early stages of 2021. This time, we tempt you with a bite-sized confection.

ABBIE OZARD / Let's Play Pretend EP


Abbie Ozard (not to be confused with well-known British comedian Eddie Izzard) isn't quite there yet, but she's already turning some heads with her dreamy pop songs. Her songwriting reflects the trials and tribulations of the typical young girl, but it's her instantly memorable choruses that stand out from the crowd. She has a natural gift for instantly bringing a song to life with the flick of a switch—your job is to wait for the lights to come on. Every time I listen to this four-song EP, I restlessly await the next hook that will elevate me into the clouds for a few carefree minutes. Surely, you have 13 minutes to spare don't you? If so, take a joy ride, run an errand, walk the dogs, get some fresh air. Just get out of your corona cave and head outside. If you follow my instructions, and bring Abbie's new EP with you, you'll be rewarded with a sweet-voiced young Mancunian (I could've just said she's from Manchester, I realize that) who is already mastering the art of the sticky hook. If this rapidly aging old man can fall for her songs, anyone else has got to be easy pickings. I wonder why such songs appeal to me sometimes. Have I not outgrown them? But then I think that maybe it's because pop music has been singing about the same subjects since day one—young love, boys/girls, heartbreak, and even the occasional fantasy of pop stardom ("TV Kween" should come with a mirror and hairbrush). Abbie's got an appealing, wistful (sometimes stuffy-nosed) singing voice that favorably hints at some of my favorite female singers of recent years. I don't toss around names like Tracyanne Campbell (Camera Obscura), Lily Allen, and even the Go-Go's Belinda Carlisle lightly, but there are moments that subtly evoke each of them while still managing to maintain a distinct Abbie-ish individuality. Her songwriting, crafty but still developing, is only going to get better as she plies her trade (unless you consider lines like "You remind me of cookie dough ice cream" as the pinnacle of craftswomanship, then she's already arrived at the terminal), but you can already tell that's she's no pretender.

PRIEST SONG PICKS: "True Romance" | "Pink Sky (Endless Summer)"

Back with another new record very soon. After some time off, I'm still learning to write again. I'm going to need some time to get back into the swing.

The Priest


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