Since first seeing her live last October, to now hearing her debut album in full, it has been a long year of waiting. In the intervening months Izzy has played another show in Glasgow (this time headlining the legendary King Tuts), been nominated as Critics Choice at the Brit Awards, and picked to soundtrack the theme to the BBC’s coverage of Euro 2016.
Starting slowly with the beautiful ‘Diamonds’ it is even before the band kick in you realise that Izzy’s voice is something special, but then she throws it up a gear just a soon as the music starts proper.
A reworking of ‘White Tiger’ follows, and at first seeming unfamiliar to the version previously released, it is clear why this has become the definitive version to grace the album. A song which has obviously been her repertoire for many years (a bubbling summer anthem, the track has now had over 27 million Spotify streams and over 3 millions YouTube plays) has been honed from a catchy great little song, to a superb track that I wouldn’t be surprised remains in her live setlist for ever more.
‘Give Me Love’, ‘Adam and Eve’, and ‘Glorious’, give an upbeat, soulful, slight R&B edge to proceedings and give you a first half to the album that just cheers you up. But it is when we get to slower tracks such as the soulful ‘What Makes You Happy’ or the exquisite ‘Mad Behaviour’ that the full power of Bizu’s voice, her soul, her talent, and the clear connection she has with her band is entirely on show. ‘Mad Behaviour’ is particular is easily one of my favourite new songs.
Overall the feel of the album is bright, fresh, happy, and a pleasure to listen to. It has a certain summery outlook, which, as we turn to the start of Autumn makes the days last just that little bit brighter for longer. At 22 years old, Izzy Bizu continues to prove herself as one of the most exciting new acts of the year and this album just underlines all the reasons why.
Returning to my excitement awaiting this album to be released, it should also be said that not for an even longer time has my excitement for an album remained just as high after having hearing it for the first time; the day the review copy of this album arrived I heard my album of the year.
With just a few months to go before the annual list-making, I find it hard to believe that someone is going to top A Moment of Madness for that heady number one spot!