At first glance, Lucy Rose can come across as another Laura Marling-like singer-songwriter, an illusion that is initially reinforced with the graceful, gossamer thin opening to her new album Something’s Changing. Of course, first impressions can be shy of the mark, as you soon find with this album, and as anyone who has had the pleasure of her upbeat live show will know.
Yes, there is lots of delicacy in the songwriting, performance and production at play here, but once you move beyond this you discover music that is bolder, more striking, more confident and with a lot more substance, gathered perhaps in the albums’ formative period as she travelled across South America with just her guitar, playing fan organised gigs and crashing in people’s homes. This substance is within the songs subject matter more than anywhere, Rose taking influence from these travels within some of the poorer regions of the world. ‘Strangest of Ways’ speaks of a desire to find “much more” out of life as she questions what the beauty in a place never imagined means for herself and future, whilst ‘Is This Called Home’ is a biting song about the refugee crisis.
The link up here with some well-judged collaborators is inspired; The Staves adding layers of sumptuous harmonies to ‘Floral Dresses’ and ‘Is This Called Home?’ help ensure the tracks are album highlights, whilst Elena Tonra of Daughter co-sings ‘Soak It Up’, all hushed, whispery harmonies in a gentle yet driven song.
Something’s Changing is certainly less pop and more folk than Rose’s previous records, and is created with a restraint and a bare-bones approach that puts her voice to the fore yet still manages to retain power and drive. More grown up with more developed vocals and wiser lyrics, this album proves once and for all what an accomplished vocalist and songwriter Lucy Rose has become.
Something’s Changing is out now via Communion Records.