London-born Eliza Doolittle started playing the piano at 5, writing songs at 12, and had a manager at 14, so it fits that this now-22-year-old’s pop songs (with names like Rollerblades and Skinny Genes) are ultra-girly and carefree—think Lily Allen or Kate Nash, but more redolent of lollipops and short shorts.
Doolittle—who’s massively popular in the UK—has a sound that’s pure pop, and her influences span pretty much the entire history thereof, from 1940s big band to Motown to ska to Stevie Wonder. Pack Up, the video for which we’ve included below, even samples George Henry Powell’s 1915 (!) ditty Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag. Doolittle herself doesn’t much discriminate: “I’d like to be a pop musician in the proper old school vein of pop when there weren’t any different genres like there are now; it was all just pop music.”
Her self-titled debut—all 13 songs of which Doolittle co-wrote with a handful of writers and producers whose credits collectively include Amy Winehouse, Kylie Minogue, Massive Attack and Corinne Bailey Rae—is set for US release March 22 on Capitol Records (the EP Meet Eliza Doolittle is available now on iTunes), but before that she’ll make her New York City live debut at Joe’s Pub on February 10 (7PM, $12, tickets available here).
And no, her parents didn’t actually give her the same name as the Cockney-spewing flower seller in My Fair Lady. Eliza Caird (her real name) picked up the “Doolittle” as a childhood nickname and it just stuck.