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Weekend Intermission – Issy Sutcliffe (UK) – The Cost of Living (single/future EP track)

Weekend Intermission is our regular feature where we look at an artist or band not from the Nordic countries, just to mix things up a bit.

With the long Scandinavian summer vacation in full swing it’s time to catch up with some Weekend Intermissions and this is an unusual one.

Unusual because I didn’t expect this sort of sound to be emanating out of (Greater) Manchester, a region which has one of its own, obtained over decades and usually more in the way of soft rock, rather than hard and fast and grungy like this.

According to her Facebook page Issy Sutcliffe is a student of Popular Music and Recording at the University of Salford, and seems to be enjoying an extended study period there since 2017.

I hope it doesn’t turn out to be a seven-year itch and that she carries on if this song, ‘The Cost of Living’ is typical of what she is capable of.

Billing herself as ‘the girl your pal tells you not to go out with’ (are you sure?) and elsewhere as a ‘nutcase’, something of a tight-lipped loner if the opening lines are taken at face value, the song comes in all guns blazing with hard-hitting guitar played melodies on both the verses and chorus in a piece that lies somewhere between grunge and punk.

Offsetting that is a softer, young and quite feminine vocal, right down to the multiple ooh-oohs and ah-ahs. While she compares herself with the likes of Courtney Love, the impression I got was more of an early Suzi Quatro.

She explains that her interpretation of the cost of living here extends beyond money to that of being alive, as expressed by “hopes, ​dreams, love… and rabbits”. I hope she doesn’t put them in a microwave when she’s having a nutcase moment.

Lyrically, she sings “I don’t believe in anything…or anyone that I see on TV”, adding “I hate the government and the government hates me”.

The song was released on the day of the UK General Election and I’m sure that was no coincidence. I’ve got to hand it to this younger generation (are we still on ‘Z’?) that some of them at least, including Issy, have twigged that the vast majority of career politicians, including the lot that just got elected, don’t believe in anything apart from themselves, whatever they may claim to be the case.

But protest songs are only useful up to a point, like protest votes. If she wants her cost of living to improve she can’t just bury her head in the sand.

Physically, she’s got the look, or at least a nascent version of it. While still palpably young and a little innocent looking with a sweet smile, if you’re going to rock it out you’ve got to look the part and she’s close to that already. Just a touch of redder lipstick and a baby doll dress and she could be Courtney’s daughter or granddaughter.

The EP looks interesting, with titles like ‘Especially not in my Barbie bed’, (no means no, Ken), ‘FERAL!’, and ‘Drugs can’t fix me’. Hm, she sounds like the shot in the arm Manchester has needed for a while.

Find her on:




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