Klef Notes

Music Reviews

Lucy Booth “Melancholy Blue"

Colors represent more than just patterns for clothes or design templates to cover interiors and exteriors, colors also illustrate moods, emotions, realities, and practical matters.  And having an artist that writes music using lyrics that tie together tangible and intangible themes in descriptive ways, adds interest and flavor to an overtly boring music landscape. 

Lucy Booth is an Alternative-Pop singer/songwriter from Leeds, UK who fashions her songs using this formula.  Stunningly, she displays common situations of life in an openly expressive manner enabling another point of view.

Booth’s latest piece of work, “Melancholy Blue,” has 4 tracks held within its four walls: 

  1. Melancholy Blue
  2. Purple Sky
  3. Butterfly
  4. Jam Sandwiches

 This is my interpretation of “Melancholy Blue.” 

Melancholy Blue” is a Pop ballad.  The title track opens the EP with such imagination.  The lonely piano reciprocates the feeling that Booth passionately lays onto her vocals.  “Melancholy Blue” is about how grief and heartache strikes to wound the saddened but how hope is in the details of the pain, Booth sings:  The clouds that rush across the sky / they don’t have time to cry, time to cry / they’ll save their rainy tears today / while mine are washed away, washed away / by these waves of grief / they trickle gently down my cheeks / remind me of your touch / the memories ache so much / the memories ache so much / and though the sun is shining bright today / my heart is overcast / there ain’t no rainbows here for you / cos the light can’t break through . . . then through the grey I see some blue / Melancholy Blue, Melancholy Blue / through all your lies I see the truth / Melancholy Blue. 

Booth sings with such truth and soul that you literally begin to express your own sentiments.  And with each climb of the song’s melody, you are hoping along with the artist for better times.   There is a sad tremor to the lyric that adds such character.  Her mezzo-soprano range is pitch perfect on this opening track and sets you up for an emotional ride.

And with lyrics like this, "Your courage is outrageous but it’s beginning to be contagious.  You’re leading me astray I can’t stay away.  I’m tripping on your ego tonight . . . Now you’re forever high in your purple sky.  Never coming back down to earth.  Broken by the curse.  So I’ll kiss you goodbye and I’ll let you fly, floating high, in your purple sky," you are bound to become intoxicated with the next track "Purple Sky."

One of the up-tempo tracks of the collection, "Purple Sky” features a hypnotic feel that adds the right amount of euphoria to the subject of letting go when the one you love is captivated by substance abuse. 

In this track, you can hear a fusion of Pop and R&B in the way that Booth executes her vocals using breathless treatments on her leads and paused refrains for the hook.  The ethereal backing vocals and adlibs add a bit of mystery, while the harmonies add seduction to the track.  With this song, Booth used the color purple as a metaphor to symbolize the state of affairs between the song’s character and the wild, mysterious, and extravagant habits of her lover.  

Butterfly” features a storyline that is sure to become a single-mother anthem as it details the departure of the father of the child as well as the beginnings of the beautiful relationship between mother and baby as conflicted as that may be.  The lyrics sing:  Butterfly, we’re going to paint the whole world blue.  He is gone and it is now just me and you.  And it’s okay to cry, kay to cry.  As we flutter by, flutter by.  Through the emptiness and the meadows of despair.  . . . Don’t get me wrong, I know that he was feeling stressed, and I could have maybe been more patient I confess.  But I just can’t deny, can’t deny, that I can’t justify, justify the way he disappeared, and left his baby in my arms.  He said I’ll hold your hand, I know it wasn’t planned, but it is me and you, we’re gonna make it through.  You spread your wings in May, and he just ran away, I bet you wish that you had stayed in your cocoon.

Writing from experience, Booth’s sentiments come across honest and real as she musically reflects on the strength and adaptability of being a single mother.  Her vocals hold a prowess that just envelops the listener and makes you take in her message.  You’re captivated from the intro all the way to the outro.  The vocal tone of the bridge is almost conversational with its pulsed lead and dual harmonic backing - very contemplative.  

In addition, using the metaphor of a butterfly to illustrate how a baby is within the womb (cocoon) and then birthed to explore and evolve into something great was splendid.  And, the modern nursery rhyme composition of “Butterfly’s” melody is enchanting.  Featuring a contrasting uplifting instrumental foundation, laced with the grief-stricken nature of the song’s premise, this melodic footing showcases that two-sided emotional rollercoaster that new mothers juggle as well as Booth’s songwriting skills.  

This track gives the right words to the women who do not know how to explain this dream that can sometimes come across as a nightmare.  

The final song, “Jam Sandwiches,” truly takes the musical component and makes it visual. The personality of the track is so animated and vividThe lyrics explain the life of a nine-year-old and how the transition from a whole family to a split family can affect all of the little things and shake up a little one’s life only to figure it out when we are adults.  The lyrics sing:  Jam sandwiches on Tuesday nights / fighting with my brother over who was right / I remember, I remember those times / and dressing up in Grandad’s clothes / pretending we were grown-ups on our tippy-toes / I remember, I remember those times / when I was 9 years old / No worries in the world / then my mamma sat me down without a smile / said we gotta go away for a little while / when I was 9 years old / I tried my best to control /all the tears that were threatening to overflow / it doesn’t really seem that long ago / that I was 9 years old . . . I guess I didn’t understand back then / I didn’t know why it all had to end / but now I’m old enough to finally see / that it was all about protecting me / when I was 9 years old.

It’s those circumstances like the premise of this track that shapes our future and build the memories that stick with us forever and ever.  The dual vocal on the lead and the hook makes a play on the ears as if the child and the adult are remembering.  The easy-going piano adds the emotion, while the inclusion of the guitar and strings, along with that modern percussive rhythm, helps the track to resonate deeply.  Boy, I love this song! 

I know that seeing Lucy Booth live is an amazing event as she has such a large presence on this EP alone which alludes to her gaining the public’s attention.  Her music production and songwriting give such a connection between the singer and listener.  

Much like the writing of Bob Dylan, Adele, John Lennon, and Carly Simon, Booth uses metaphors to make the audience see the importance of a topic without complicating matters – it’s like tempering subjects with practicality so that everyone’s ear is receptive.  Such a descriptive songwriter, Booth clearly shows us the world through her eyes and helps us socially and personally reflect on everyday topics and situations while forming an opinion.  By using topics of motherhood, feminine strength, grief, loss, hope, and reality, Booth is the voice of the voiceless. 

This EP breaks open a new road for a genre within music that is near closing due to talentless vocal executions and stale narratives teamed with technology-raped instrumentation.  YAY for Booth, as she is reawakening our consciences by housing songs that lyrically touch upon real-life themes like integrity, resilience, satisfaction, and normalcy while keeping humanity in the forefront and the singer/songwriter alive! 

https://www.facebook.com/lucyboothmusic/

https://twitter.com/lucyboothmusic

 

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