In the seven months since Lizzy McAlpine released her second studio album, “five seconds flat,” the Montgomery County native has enjoyed an influx of mainstream success, in part due to her social media presence and the sometimes angry, always-in-her-feelings sound that the artist has become known for since her 2020 debut. 

This week, McAlpine appeared on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series, performing toned-down, acoustic versions of some of her best-known songs, including an unreleased track, “Emma.” The song, which the Wynnewood native has performed numerous times during her headlining tour this fall, is dedicated to her sister. 

McAlpine’s music and songwriting has been compared to other mainstream stars like Olivia Rodrigo, Kasey Musgraves and Phoebe Bridgers. Though she’s been recording and releasing music since she was a student at Berklee College of Music in 2018, a number of covers and original songs posted to her TikTok account in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic helped propel her to national fame. In her Tiny Desk performance, she opted for quieter instruments in lieu of the electric guitars and drums used heavily on the album. 


“I wanted to recontextualize the songs on the album with just vocals and guitar,” McAlpine told NPR. “I feel like that’s how I write most of my songs anyway. I just wanted them to be more intimate.” 

Other songs featured in the live concert include “all my ghosts,” the third single released in advance of “five seconds flat,” which features McAlpine reliving the “haunted” settings of a past relationship. The heartbreak retrospective brings listeners along for the ride — passing empty aisles in a dingy convenience store, standing under fluorescent store signs and struggling to get out of bed. Listen to the full performance below. 

McAlpine joined fellow singer-songwriter Dodie on her North American tour at the beginning of the year, with a performance at the Fillmore in February. There, McAlpine performed songs from her debut album, “Give Me A Minute,” and her latest EP, “When The World Stopped Moving,” which was released in 2021. 

Following the conclusion of Dodie’s “Build A Problem” tour in March, McAlpine announced her first headlining tour, which began in San Francisco in July. She returned to Philly for another performance at The Fillmore in September before announcing her second headlining tour, “The End of The Movie,” which she’s set to embark on next spring. 

McAlpine will once again return to The Fillmore on April 29, and tickets for the tour are set to go on sale on Friday, Nov. 11 at 10 a.m. 

McAlpine’s “five seconds flat” was released in April to mostly positive reviews, with many critics lauding the new release as an “elevation” of the singer’s previous work. The album debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. Since touring the album, the singer has been able to collaborate with artists including John Mayer, Finneas and Jacob Collier. 

Tracks like “ceilings” continue the heartbreak retrospective McAlpine hoped to create with the release of her first three singles on the album, while on others, like “chemtrails,” McAlpine comes to terms with her rise to fame and her mixed feelings about growing up. 

McAlpine recently teamed up with the Scary Pockets collective, a group of musicians transforming pop classics into funk anthems. The singer contributed lead vocals to the collective’s cover of the Bee Gees’ signature 1977 hit, “Stayin’ Alive.” The group typically arranges the well-known songs in 90 minutes, and has worked on more than 200 songs with weekly covers on their YouTube channel. 

McAlpine’s second studio album, “five seconds flat,” is currently available to stream or purchase. The short film, released to promote the album, is available to watch below.