Lucy

4 May

Image of Lucy (2010)

The reason I didn’t get around to posting anything a couple of days ago is that I was watching the eponymous Lucy Wainwright Roche perform at The Stables theatre, Milton Keynes, as opening act for her  father, Loudon Wainwright III. And very fine they both were too – engaging, witty performers (Lucy threw in Springsteen’s Hungry Heart as an audience singalong!).  At the gig I bought her not-yet-formally-released follow-up album (and another made with her mum, Suzzy Roche (of The Roches) but haven’t really had time to listen to them yet, so I’ll feature Lucy first. Along with Blair Dunlop’s Blight and Blosson (featured last month), this was, absolutely one of my two favourite albums of 2012.

Lucy W-R has a beguiling, clear, warm voice and persona and, for this collection, wrote a bunch of direct,  songs of love and loss and travel.  The instrumentation is understated and sympathetic, featuring various family members.  The ten-self-penned numbers are supplemented by a cover of Paul Simon’s’ America’ and one by Elliott Smith (‘Say Yes’) sung as a duet with Ira Glass but it’s her own songs that are the standouts. Wonderfully, two of my three favourites* were part of her set a couple of nights ago:  ‘Open Season‘ a wistful love song evoking the redevelopment of  the run-down seaside resort of Coney Island in her native Brooklyn and The Worst Part – one of the most touching break-up songs I’ve heard. These extracts don’t do it justice:

“no one likes to find the one who
they thought was lovely was a flash in the pan
survey the scene well the break was clean
hell that may be true and yet the losses were grand

“you seem to have found a way to bring me down
to make me see just how the problem is mine
if you would like to be a person making me
feel worse well you can get behind me in line”

“and the worst part is oh the worst part is
oh the very worst part is i will always love you anyway”.

I’ll write about the new album (‘There’s A Last Time For Everything’) shortly. I’ll also get round to covering her two early EPs too because  I think more people ought to get acquainted with Lucy Wainwright Roche’s music.  Find out more at:  http://lucywainwrightroche.com/

*btw, the favourite she didn’t include live was the magnificent A&E – about the British NHS no less.

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