The ever-unpredictable Lucy, Racquel and Me offer a full-length album this year that sees the collaborative project venture out further into eclecticism, not least of all the electronic dance realm – though not without holding close to that thoughtful songwriting from before.
Leave it all behind kicks things off with a sultry and energetic few minutes of classic dance-pop. There’s an edge of darkness to the song though, the verses lay out detailed scenes of isolation and longing, and the hook subsequently offers that essential moment of resolve and optimism. The mood switches at this moment, further reinforcing the sentiment of moving forwards and indeed leaving all of this behind – the first and second verses seem to lean in opposing direction; one of positive aspects, one of those less desirable. The vocals are stunning, a tricky melody line captivates with flawless delivery and a meandering aura that moves from delicate to lightly intense – often within the space of a single line. An infectious way to begin the album.
I am follows the opener and drives with a country-like aura – some great acoustic riffs and a lower toned vocal that whispers a simple and effective melody and story-line to you. There’s an intimacy here, a personal touch that focus on the ‘I’ as well as the ‘you’. Breathy and dreamlike vocal fragments make up the delicate chorus. A really well-written song that feels familiar at first yet increasingly fresh as it progresses. What will I say ? comes afterwards and steps further back in time to offer a totally addictive, fifties style shuffle and a song that’s close to impossible to forget. The collaborative aspect shines brightly throughout the eclectic variation on this playlist, and yet it does so without resulting in something disconnected and irrelevant to itself – far from it in fact. The whole album is a joy to listen through.
Until is a personal favourite, a melancholic and emotional song that’s delivered in a genuine manner with some beautifully capable vocals. The song is thoughtful in a personal yet accessible way, and with this comes the occasional element of shock – poetic reflection that really re-captures any wandering attention. A powerful track that’s easy to escape within. Mocha follows and brings back that upbeat dance-pop aura from the start. A well-placed moment of energy and hopefulness, with a great hook.
Lana Del Rey is another stand out moment, a spacious and quiet track with up-close and personal vocals. The title keeps you interested and the story-line reaches out to connect with the deep thinkers and those isolated moments of escapism we’re often drawn to. Fugitive Words follows and lets the mood remain smooth and considerate – a more classic Lucy, Racquel and Me vibe emerges here; that movie-like progression, with a long-form melody and a bright, stunning vocal performance. This is an absolute grower and an easy favourite in hindsight.
At the penultimate moment, Bird’s eyes view adds a jazz-soaked piano-led moment of shoulder swaying entrancement. Another highlight, though by this point it’s easy to see that the project in full is where the real experience lies. The poetic observations here are a pleasure to appreciate. Then things come to a classic finish with the stylishly powerful and uplifting On a day like this. From a songwriting perspective, this one develops beautifully – the Gospel-choir-like backdrop helps highlight a truly stunning vocal and a soundscape that offers just enough of that organic soul-rock swagger to really make it connect. A gorgeous song, hypnotic and very easy to listen to on repeat. A strong way to finish and a clever reminder to go back and listen through these wonderful songs once again. Lucy, Racquel and Me have that something special about their songwriting, and always the professional finish lets it hit with memorable impact. Melancholy Fraise is a genuinely impressive album.