It’s been a whole year since the rather epic Vol. 1 made its way into our lives. This month sees LucidFer return with a more than worthy follow-up album.
Vol.2 is brilliantly creative – this is something you notice from the offset. Puzzle offers a classic rock vibe but brings in unpredictable guitar and drum-work that quickly gets you feeling like you’re in the centre of a live jam. The whole thing is expressive and freely meandering, yet there’s a clear method to the set-up. By the time the latter half hits, the days of Audioslave and other heavy rock beauties come crashing back into view – resulting in the perfect introduction to an album that grows more and more impressive as it moves along.
Vol.2 is way more than just distortion and genre-led moments of musicality. LucidFer lead with superb songwriting, so whatever each idea requires emotionally and mood-wise is what you get with the sound. If I Ever, as an example, follows the opener and immediately mellows things out. The lyrics stand tall, this delicate melody and these references to intimacy feel extremely vulnerable and appealing for their desire to connect. The lightness of the music captures your affection thanks to its stark contrast with the weight of what came before. Bojan Aleksić’s voice is beautiful and very genuine to listen to.
The Sky River starts up with a slightly Eels or Elbow-like groove, there’s an apparent sadness but it’s intertwined with optimism and a hopeful search for the future. The song takes you on a journey with it, loaded with imagery and self-reflection – you feel enjoyably involved in the experience as a listener.
The musicianship on this project is consistently flawless, whether the moment is high energy or more of a subtle, intentional gathering of layers, the band know precisely how to bring about the right pace – whilst still managing to impress.
Little Piece Of Doom is an absolute highlight and a definite personal favourite. Doubled vocals and a simple yet addictive melody are accompanied by intriguing, questioning lyrics, and the minimalist strum of an acoustic guitar. Things begin on a strong foot and grow to be all the more immersive and musically wonderful as the song pours through. Easily worth a second listen before moving on – a stunning pop-rock track with a beautiful sense of depth; and a brilliant hook.
No Troubles is another highlight – gorgeously deep and raspy vocals quietly calm and entrance the listener, while even more deeply considerate and heartbreakingly honest lyrics drive a concept through. Remember Me afterwards leads with a falling then rising array of piano chords – space and emotion again stand tall in this setting. You get so much clarity from this project, as if these are the songs that had to be sung, the thoughts that had to be shared. It’s a classic playlist and not a moment has been wasted or included purely to fill a space.
During the latter half of the album, Daywalker undoubtedly stands out for its cinematic ambiance and the gritty nature of that driving bass. An Americana-like scene is set, within which a simple yet captivating, poetic song works in a hypnotic fashion to envelop the listener. Contrast hits hard as the hook falls into view – that creatively free energy from Vol.1 still rings out.
Time afterwards completely redirects you yet again – a delicate folk song at first, directed at a significant other, pondering life and time in an overwhelming yet stunning manner. An absolutely beautiful track, incredibly expressive lyrics and a fantastic long-form melody-line – plus a musical build-up that intensifies superbly.
With Me offers a further hit of nostalgic, nineties alternative rock, right before the upbeat folk-rock bounce of On My Own brings the album to a finish. That vocal tone and the style of these songs offers a distinct thread throughout, mood-wise though there’s plenty of eclecticism at work, and for these reasons the album makes for a wonderful playlist to escape within. A mighty follow-up to last year’s release, great songwriting and story-telling, and a clean, crisp, professional finish that raises the experience even higher.