Now Reading: Eliza McLamb Takes the “Irish Exit” on her New Melancholy Track — An Analysis & Review


Eliza McLamb Takes the “Irish Exit” on her New Melancholy Track — An Analysis & Review

August 24, 20217 min read

Eliza McLamb went viral for her music on TikTok. People were touched by her detailed and personal writing style, writing lyrics that tackle deeply personal and intimate issues. The North Carolina local has been back in her hometown from college in DC due to the pandemic and working on her debut EP in a family shed. Since then, she has released her latest song “Irish Exit.”


“Listen, I love screaming in your car songs, but I have an avoidant attachment style and none of those songs resonated with me, so I made one for the b**ches like me,” Eliza shared on TikTok in early June. “Irish Exit” isn’t the kind of song you rock out to and sing along to in the car, like Olivia Rodrio’s “good 4 u”, for example. The ballad is too slow and it lacks enough sharp hooks and quick lyrics to be accessible. However, it is most definitely the sort of song one may experience full-body wracking sobs to at the red lights of a long drive.


The track opens with echoey guitar, Eliza’s vocals come peeking through, “I’m every mother’s favorite but my own,” she’s good at fooling and pleasing everyone except for the people closest to her and who matter most. She can make being your dream appear effortless, “I read the books you love for fun/I order perfectly ’cause I know what you’d want.” 


Eliza describes her anticipation of someone else’s needs, even at the expense of her own wants, “I’ll grab your coat before you know you’ll need it/Be the best you’ll ever sleep with…Not like the others, they just pretend.” She can appear genuine, and even discount others who are less adept at pretending.

Anxieties come out in the next verse. She’s terrified of being criticized or hurt. With vulnerability comes the ability to get hurt, so she avoids it altogether, “But you’ll pick me apart if you see me up close…If you asked me to fight, you know I’d fly.” 


“I’ll take the Irish еxit when I get too close/I know that I’m thе safest when I’m alone,” an “Irish exit” or “Irish goodbye,” as it is more commonly known, is the practice of leaving without saying goodbye. Eliza is singing about being tempted to slip out into the night — excusing herself from a situation without confrontation. She reveals the root of her panic, “But I become so needy when I know that you don’t need me anymore/When I can’t remember who I was before.” She’s even tricked herself so well she’s forgotten who she actually is when she’s not performing for a relationship.


There’s an instrumental pause before she continues, “I know I’m dangerous to touch/In the light, if it’s enough/To let me lie to you, I’ll let you stay the night,” she feels like she’s a risk, but the relationship is transactional. Each party is happy with the exchange — she avoids vulnerability, and he won’t look too closely if she’s being the perfect character he wants, “And you won’t pry if you are satisfied/So I keep the veil pulled nice and tight…And you won’t take your time with me/I’ll give you what you want from me/And I won’t let you feel guilty…” Eliza offers cutting lyricism and revelations about morphing into someone else, unbeknownst to them, “…Don’t look at me in the mirror, ’cause you’ll look back at your own eyes…”


The rising instrumentals reach their peak in the chorus. The steady and echoey guitar gains clarity as the percussion and Eliza’s singing both increase in strength. This is the steering wheel shaking moment that she described. 

Gentleness returns for the outro, “I can only be what I take from you/The rip we share is hurting me, but I made myself for you/I love you so hard from you, I care more than the rest If you’ll be my fool, I’ll be your best.” She’s offering someone a sense of satisfaction, even at her own expense, but withholding any sense of being genuine. 


The track has notes of the “Gone Girl” Cool Girl monologue, like a woman is ripping off a mask. Similar to Lucy Dacus’ “Brando,” the track feels like someone saying, “You didn’t know me!” However, “Irish Exit” more like Eliza is saying, “I didn’t let you know me.” 


“‘Irish Exit’ is a requiem for the version of yourself that was crafted for someone else. It’s for those who believe that the best way to love another person is to cater to their delusions, and the best time to leave them is before they realize what you’ve done,” Eliza shared.


“Irish Exit” sounds like she’s revealing her secrets to a man who was fooled by her, as if she’s quietly disassembling the facade she orchestrated just for him. Each lyric has weight and is carefully handed to the listener — like an offering gingerly pressed into the palm of your hand or a whispered secret. In “Irish Exit,” Eliza McLamb admits she distorts herself for the pleasure of others, even at the expense of her own sense of self.


You can listen to “Irish Exit” everywhere now!


Feature image courtesy of Votiv

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Helen Ehrlich

Helen Ehrlich is a writer who enjoys politics, music, all things literary, activism and charity work. She lives in the United States, where she attends school. Email her at: [email protected]