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One to watch: Zuzu

One to watch: Zuzu

The Observer Music One to watch: Zuzu

With her electrifying unpredictability, the sci-fi-loving singer-songwriter could be the future of Liverpool pop

Zuzu
Electrifying… Zuzu.

Cilla Black. Sonia. Sporty Spice. Heidi from the Sugababes. While pop was made in Liverpool’s image, there have been scant female voices carrying forth its lineage. That’s one reason why 23-year-old Zuzu â€" no other names offered â€" is so captivating. “I don’t speak the language nor the tong-guh,” she sings on All Good, her scouse accent flying as proudly as Courtney Barnett’s Australian brogue does in her songs. Like Barnett, Zuzu excels at the kind of gu itar music that shifts easily from hangdog to heroism, though she has a stronger inclination towards pop â€" her choruses tend to light up like a match dropped in a box of fireworks. Beauty Queen, in particular, has that electrifying Taylor Swift thing.

A sci-fi enthusiast, Zuzu’s songwriting is littered with space references. Dark Blue, a rich, slumping rock song, starts out maudlin but vaults into an unexpectedly euphoric chorus about shared self-pitying tendencies: “Just like everybody else on the planet, we just fell from the sky and act as if we found it,” she sings. It’s the lead single from her next EP, which she’s self-recording despite signing to Virgin earlier this year.

Zuzu learned her craft as a lonely kid, filling time: she also directs her videos, makes comics and promises a Cardi B cover and Christmas single before the year’s up. Why stop at carrying the future of Liverpudlian pop?

• Zuzu’s new single, Can’t Be Alone, i s out 9 November on Virgin EMI. She tours the UK from 5 Novâ€"1 Dec

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