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Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Lucy Rose - Like I Used To

I first heard Lucy Rose on the title track of Bombay Bicycle Club’s sophomore, acoustic-folk album Flaws. Her delicate backing vocal, and how perfectly it intertwined with that of Bombay’s Jack Steadman, made it the album’s standout song, and I immediately wanted to know who this lingering and evocative voice belonged to.

Two years later, Lucy Rose has come a long way. The release and success of debut album Like I Used To last week is another landmark for her, and a testament to patience and hard work.

At a young age she moved to London from my own Warwickshire, a brave first step in making a name for herself. And, while others may have rushed into releasing something based on the exposure her part-time role as a part of Bombay has brought over the last two years, Lucy has taken it one song at a time, maturing and honing her solo craft at intimate venues across the country whilst also gracing arena and festival stages with the band. All the while building her back catalogue and growing, both lyrically and musically.

This measured approach has given the album an accessibility, with five singles already released and two early tracks included. Middle of The Bed, Night Bus and Bikes were three of the first songs of hers I loved back in 2010, and they are here pretty much as they were, avoiding the fate of so many demos that are tampered with too much by the time they make it onto an album.

But alongside the familiar, there are also nine new songs to make up a thorough and confident debut. Other singles Scar, Red Face and Lines are joined by standout tracks Shiver, Don’t You Worry and Be Alright.

Across the album, her guitar work is delightful, with intricate and delicate picking mixed with bigger and bolder sounds. And her songs aren’t restricted by typically acoustic structures, with tempo and volume changes throughout giving her room to manoeuvre and keeping things lively and stimulating.

It is her vocals however that are the heart and soul of the record, with her tender voice bringing the stories she sings to life. She tells tales of broken relationships and dark souls, but her voice is uplifting enough to ensure they never become too heavy or difficult.

While many reviews of Lucy focus on the tea and the jam – which no doubt add to the charm factor - this is an album worthy of attention for the music alone. Appropriately released in autumn, this lovely album will no doubt warm and soothe during the winter months ahead.

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