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Lizzy McAlpine singing at her Brooklyn Steel concert on April, 25 2023
Lizzy McAlpine singing at her Brooklyn Steel concert on April, 25 2023
Original photo by Brooke DeLuca
Culture > Entertainment

Top 5 Lizzy McAlpine Songs on “Older”

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Hofstra chapter.

On April 5, 2024 singer songwriter Lizzy McAlpine released her third album “Older.”

McAlpine’s song “Ceilings” on the sophomore album “Five Seconds Flat” went viral on TikTok, propelling the blossoming artist into mainstream media. However, McAlpine took a different artistic approach to her third album. It consists of organic-sounding ballads that ring true to her coming-of-age experiences. 

Each song on this album brings forth a unique sound and perspective, but the following five songs make “Older” stand out in McAlpine’s excellent discography.

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1. Come down soon

Track two on “Older” is “Come Down Soon.” The song’s early placement on the album indicates a budding relationship that is not built to last.

The lyrics perfectly encapsulate feelings like insecurity and uneasiness that can arise in a new relationship.

In the chorus, McAlpine sings, “Nothing this good ever lasts this long for me/Oh, it’ll come down soon.” In the beginning, relationships seem too good to be true. This unsurprisingly leads the person in this song to suspect that it will end before

The mellow instrumentals juxtapose McAlpine’s doubt-ridden lyrics. 

2. All falls down

“All Falls Down” is about the feeling of the world caving in during periods of poor mental health.

In the chorus, McAlpine sings, “And it all falls down on you at the same time.” Mental breakdowns often feel like a domino effect; every thought, event or hardship that has been weighing on oneself comes crashing down all at once.

In verse three McAlpine sings “I can’t stop the time from moving/And I can never get it back.” This lyric is incredibly relatable to those who have fallen into existential thought spirals. McAlpine articulates this by singing about a concept as abstract and ominous as time.

In the song’s outro, the repetition of different variations of “It all falls down on you” builds up to what can be interpreted as McAlpine’s breaking point. This stylistic choice matches the frantic and panicked tone of the song.

“I can’t stop time from moving and I can never get it back”

-Lizzy McAlpine

3. staying

“Staying” is a piano ballad about accepting that a relationship is on the brink of ending but still being unable to let go of it.

In the first verse, McAlpine sings, “How can you look so peaceful/When you know I’m gonna leave?” McAlpine is taken aback at the fact that the person in this song cannot sense that she has checked out of the relationship and knows she’ll leave once she finds the power to.

The last line is, “Hold me until I find the nerve.” This line shows the battle between clinging onto comfort versus being strong enough to leave a failing relationship. 

4. Drunk, running

“Drunk, Running” brings to light the self-blame that occurs when a partner is not doing well after a breakup. McAlpine writes about an ex-partner who falls back into poor habits, in this case, alcohol abuse, and she feels guilty that she is not present in their life to stop it. 

In the first verse, McAlpine sings, “No one stops you/Nobody takes it from your hand.” This person exhibits reckless behavior when they’re under the influence and those who are around them enable it. Since she’s no longer in this person’s life there’s no one to stop them which gives her an undeserved sense of guilt. 

Later in the song, McAlpine sings, “What if it was all my fault?/ What if I drove you to it?” Yet again she feels guilty for someone’s actions and behaviors that she is no longer associated with or responsible for. She feels remorseful for remaining in the relationship when she shouldn’t have, which is a callback to the song “Staying.”  

The song ends with the lyrics, “Say I love you and then/ drink it backwards/ Say I love you.” This represents how the person reverses any commitment or declaration of love they’d made while under the influence. At the end of the song, I love you is played again but this time in reverse, which is an artistically genius way to reinforce the meaning of the line. 

“Someday you’ll comeback, and I’ll say no”

-Lizzy McAlpine

5. vortex

The final track on “Older” is “Vortex” and it is arguably the most heartbreaking song on the album. “Vortex” ties together all of the themes explored within “Older” and leaves the listener in shambles. 

A repeated line throughout the song is “Someday I’ll be able to let you go.” Memories of past relationships can be haunting and hard to forget, even with time. McAlpine is still trying to heal and let them go after they have both spun out of the vortex, which is a metaphor for their relationship.

In the bridge, McAlpine sings, “We’re just awful together and awful apart / I don’t know what to do anymore.” These lines explain the root of why McAlpine is always getting sucked back into the vortex with this person. Her sense of self is diminished because whether they are together or apart she is in a constant state of being discontent with herself. She feels lost when she isn’t stuck in the same cycle of being on and off with this person. 

The last line is “Someday you’ll come back, and I’ll say no.” McAlpine hopes that one day she can finally forget about this person and the tumultuous times they’ve been through together. One day the toxic cycle they were both trapped in while together ceases to exist once she can finally let go. 

The song ends with approximately two minutes of powerful instrumentals that let the listener process the story told in the album.

“Older” is a perfect listen for anyone who’s searching for a gut-wrenchingly relatable album that grapples with concepts including coming-of-age, mental illness and breakups.

Brooke is a Senior English Major at Hofstra University. She loves writing poetry, attending concerts and browsing bookstores for new romance reads.