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Eliza McCarthy & Laurie Tompkins
Years Went By
CD (E257)

Belgium £13 (including postage)

Europe £15 (including postage)

Rest of world £17 (including postage)

Edition of 200 copies

Mastered by Yves De Mey (1–6)

and Giuseppe Ielasi (7)


1. Only humans carry their pasta round

2. Blind man dead plants

3. Life is horrible

4. This is what I thought yesterday 

5. These dreams make my heart hurt

6. Courage to quit

7. Pour soup for our days


Eliza McCarthy: piano, keys, voice

Laurie Tompkins: music, production, voice


Begun on residency at the red studio, Aldeburgh, in January 2019.

Piano recorded by Shaun Crook at

an empty Cafe Oto in April 2020.

It started as something smooth for

piano, let the notes work, less shouting.

I sacked off that vow, took it up again,

did desperate things to keep it all alive, and here’s the proof. 

Years Went By is a thick, unruly soup

of keys and computer. The ornate line I wrote for Eliza is often traced and echoed by — or tangled up with — a second electronic voice that speaks in synthetic instruments and deformed recordings.


Eliza’s piano and keys need the oddest

of FX to pace through the bog, and we both sing like torches when needed. 

Listening now, I think it’s a dreamy album, it levitates through a thousand grubby jumps. Like a memoir, I hope it feels like distance travelled, the way we stew and scrub a life. 

This is Eliza and I’s first music together. We met when I released her 2018 collaboration with Mica Levi on Slip.

— Laurie Tompkins


More demonstrative of the pianist’s chops, such as on Blind Man Dead Plants, though Tompkins wrote the music she’s playing and at every turn sabotages any lingering prettiness with a prankish production aesthetic. (The jump-scare heel turn of This Is What I Thought Yesterday is perhaps the most extreme iteration of this.) Both performers contribute vocals, which again many would hesitate to term ‘singing’, and if

the spectre of serious-minded musicians going about their business with beaming frivolity is a vote-winner for you, then this CD might sit in a sweet spot.

The Quietus

E257_Eliza (Pat Davey).jpg


Photo by Pat Davey


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