(image with thanks to six07 press)
I don’t much believe in New Year’s resolutions, but if I made any this year, my biggest one was to use this blog to share more new music with you, my loyal readership. So I’m going to start as I mean to go on, by featuring an artist who I have been interested in for a long time, and is set to make 2012 her year.
Lucy Rose has been lauded by everyone from The Guardian to The Fly (in fact, she appears of one of the six cover artists on their January Bands of 2012 issue), and has been mentioned several times in the past here on safetyinsound.com. However, with her album firmly in the works and her singles gaining increasing radio play on the major networks, I felt it was time to delve a little deeper.
With her newest single, Red Face, Lucy is proving that she is far more than just a pretty girl with a handful of pretty songs. A far more fully realised effort than her low fi demoes, her voice sounds as fresh and pure as ever, but with a new air of confidence that allows her vocals to float beautifully over the pounding brush drums and country guitar. As she sings the simple refrain ‘So I’ll take a trip/to the back of my mind/ see what is there/what will I find…’, she manages to come across without the pretension of so many of her peers, instead summing up perfectly the concept of finding yourself that so many people of her age go through.
In terms of finding oneself, Lucy’s story of musical discovery is a suitably charming one. Moving from Warwickshire to London aged 18, she had never sang in front of anyone publically, the open mic nights around the capital city providing her first education in performing. In terms of making music, Lucy told us at safetyinsound that it a relatively organic process. ‘I normally start with chords and work from there. I very rarely write down lyrics until they have been sung first.’, she says, possibly explaining the technicality of the guitarwork on some of her tracks, with just a gentle melody complimenting it rather than taking dominance.
From her time in London, Lucy began to network, meeting other musicians and honing her craft through a series of demoes. The public attention has been a long time coming, but is something she never truly expected: ‘It gives me confidence to believe in what I'm doing. It's hard sometimes to know if anything is actually any good.’
It was during this period that she first met Jack Steadman, lead singer of Bombay Bicycle Club. Many people’s first encounter with Lucy’s voice would have been via her live appearances with the crouch end four piece, and her vocal offerings on a selection of tracks from two of their hugely successful albums, Flaws and A Different Kind Of Fix. Whilst repetitively claiming in interviews that she is not romantically involved with any of the four members, her onstage chemistry with the band has led to many unfairly claiming that she is simply riding their coat tails. For many artists this would be a source of extreme frustration, but cool as ever, Lucy simply shrugs it off as a natural assumption, merely commenting ‘I just hope one day they will want to write about me in my own right.’
Considering her ‘young girl with a guitar’ aesthetic, many have also likened her to Laura Marling. The truth is that Lucy is a far more accessible and relatable offering, possessing a youthfulness that unlike Marling, she seems to be embracing. She openly admits to gaps in her musical knowledge, confessing to have only been aware of artists such as Joni Mitchell since her move to London, and not really considering music as a career until this time. Playing music in a genre that seems overcrowded with folky wannabes, what makes her different?
‘It’s impossible to know. I like to think there are cinematic elements to the music, but really it's probably a mixture between acoustic, pop, folk. So many genres, so many artists. Neil Young, Feist, Joni Mitchell, Slow Club. Everything influences me in some way. It's impossible to know what makes it different.’
Speaking of Slow Club, the bands male vocalist Charles Haddon is currently helping Rose with her long awaited debut album. ‘Charles is a friend of a friend and we started chatting a year ago about working together. He mentioned he had some ideas he wanted to share and it went from there.’
Promising times for a promising artist, who appears to be surrounding herself with all the right people to encourage her artistic growth whilst still retaining that initial charm of her earliest demoes. Question is, when will we see the true fruits of her labour?
‘I'm going to start recording the album soon. I hope you can expect something great but right now I have no idea what’s going to happen. I'm very excited.’
Red Face is out now on Fauna Records. Lucy will be supporting Noah & The Whale on a string of UK dates in March 2012. For more information, see lucyrosemusic.co.uk.