Being described simply as a singer-songwriter only provides the merest hint of the layers of paradox and enigma that lie within the grooves of Last Of The Sun – the new album from Lucy Feliz.
Release Date: 28th August 2020
Label: OK Pal Records
Formats: DL / vinyl
To get the best understanding from this intriguing album, it is perhaps, appropriate to try to understand a little of its author and performer. Lucy Feliz is a Brighton-based singer-songwriter, but that bland description only provides the merest hint of the layers of paradox and enigma that lie within the grooves of Last Of The Sun.
The album provides many hints of the conflicts and challenges that Lucy has faced and the lyrics lay bare many aspects of her identity and personality, exposing her childhood innocence, her sexuality, her reactions to both care and neglect, and her experiences of both paradise and dystopia.
In fact, this is an album of extreme contrasts. The music is simultaneously challenging and highly accessible, the feel is both pastoral and haunting, the lyrics are troubling yet reassuring and the instrumentation is sparse yet somehow manages to sound full and satisfying. It’s futile to try and set the listener’s expectations by trying to classify the music on this album. In parts, it’s folky, jazzy and psychedelic but the words are mystical, atmospheric and ethereal and probably provide a more accurate pointer towards the album’s contents.
The music and lyrics have flavours of Kate Bush and Richard Hawley, but that comparison is tenuous in the extreme. I can only suggest that you listen for yourself and form your own points of reference. What does distinguish the album is the purity of Lucy’s voice, which is a consistent pleasure to hear, and the subtlety of the instrumentation which contributes always and intrudes never. Recorded in The Sitting Room in Lyttelton, New Zealand and produced by Ben Edwards, this album really is something special.
Opening track, Cowgirl sets the scene. Echo-y drums and spacy guitar support the first of ten engaging vocal performances and the reference to LA’s ‘constant sun’ sets a theme that recurs throughout the album (whilst recording the album in New Zealand, Lucy contrived to miss a British winter and the impact of two back-to-back summers clearly influenced her writing.)
The album’s single, Magic Hour comes next. Luxurious guitar and synth and dreaming backing vocals underlie a strong lyric that recalls Lucy’s time at Catholic School and how she dealt with the constraints that her education imposed. As a taster, why not check out the official video below.
Other gems to be found on the album include Paradise, one of the folkier efforts which again refers to blissful sunshine. It is perhaps my favourite track – evocative and wonderfully dreamlike. Werewolf is a fascinating piece which moves away from the main theme of peace in the sun and exposes a darker aspect of Lucy’s psyche as she transforms from child of daylight to wolf of darkness. It’s one of the album’s more accessible numbers with a jazzy start that transforms, like the werewolf of the title, into a straight rocker as the song progresses. Angie, a retrospective analysis of a schoolday relationship, starts soft and finishes hard and Silhouette could almost be described as a Doo-Wop number, were it not for the song’s evocative, other-worldly lyrics. The closing track, Strange Allure, takes us all back to a safe, enclosed retreat after the explorations of the preceding songs, and is a comfortable and comforting end to an excellent collection.
On the album, Lucy plays guitar and keyboards and is backed by Joseph Callum on drums and percussion and Elmore Jones on Guitars. Producer Ben Edwards also contributes bass, synth and special effects and Ryan Chin provides additional bass and percussion. Altogether, they’ve come up with quite an album.
Read Lucy’s Why I Love on Weyes Blood here.
Listen to Last Laugh here: