2018 has given us some interesting Indie music that bridges the gap between Modern and Classic – some eclectic EDM, a blend of Hip-Hop and Blues, some Rock, Funk, Grunge, Pop, and other genres. We’ve sampled the traditionalist in music, as well as the genreless – all from some wonderful artists and bands. So, I have to say that I have been blessed to review so many soundtracks about living, loving, and liberating.
With the last month of 2018 amongst us, I am glad to add a brilliant band to my list of favorites – a band containing a lyricist from Australia (Lucy), a composer from France (Phil, a.k.a. Me), and a vocalist from California USA (Racquel). The band’s name is Lucy, Racquel and Me, and while their union is unordinary, their music is extraordinary.
Their latest EP, “Where the Moon Never Sets” contains six inimitable Adult Contemporary blended Folk Pop-infused tracks that touches on matters of the heart, soul, and mind:
- In My Head
- Millions Out There – Album Version
- Pull Down the Moon
- Inside My Vault
This is my interpretation of “Where the Moon Never Sets.”
The opening track starts everything by striking a musical VOGUE stance with an exhilarating piano and percussions. “Unravel” presents a lyrical message that explores the moment in time when someone must grasp the reality of love ending. The secret surprise with this track is the less is more technique in which the simple instruments of percussions, violins, and piano creates such a passionately orchestral musical tapestry that is soul-stirring combined with a catchy vocal chorus that holds a catchy “do-do-do-do-do” hook. This track grows on you!
The jewelry box handling of the musical foundation of “In My Head” is so welcoming. This commercially-ready track displays an almost vintage 1960 meets NOW command to the beat and a nice blend of acoustic and electric guitars. The nursery rhyme vocal melody performed by the vocalist is embracing and memorable.
What makes “Grey” so infectious is the metaphorical lyrical treatment of the color grey and how the color grey is illustrated here as the personality of the main character’s love interest and how that personality alters the main character’s mood be it happy or sad. Overall, there is a two-sided approach to the is track. This is heard in the dual vocal that laces the chorus and the split point of view that the track allows the listener to form as the title would make you first think this is a track of darkness and gloom. But once you listen to “Grey” and hear the simple, coy, vocal technique used to exemplify Lucy’s lyrics, and the musical tempo, you hear the track’s true light and airy modern Pop Folk image.
The most contemplative track on the album is “Millions Out There – Album Version.” The violins lead the way on this sentimental track that lyrically embraces the impact felt and seen after one die. The beauty of this track is that life is celebrated instead of the death being mourned which makes for a very reflective power ballad.
Fervent guitars take center stage on the fifth track “Pull Down the Moon” and lays the foundation for an expressive Folk Rock track that tells the story of a femme fatale who gets what she wants no matter the price paid or conclusion. The lyrics: gave her all you had, nothing's reaching her it's the moon she wants . . . when you saw her eyes and the night in them . . . took her by the hand, cold and careless led her up the old creaky staircase / it's a narrow ledge where you're balancing looking down on her haunted palaces shut your eyes and know she will laugh at you she will never come close to loving you / how insane it is, there’s no pleasing her pulling down the moon would be easier, clearly, and cleverly, illustrates how insatiable need can make anyone pay a heavy price - in the case of this track, the men pay with their lives to share just a minute of time and space with a woman who is not interested in love, but the game of winning.
Adding to the mysterious vibe of “Pull Down the Moon” is Phil’s impressionable guitar solo, where at the 1 minute / 56 seconds mark, this instrument literally does pull down the moon! This impactful solo brings the listener to the outro and is filled with both passion and purpose. Moreover, the stair-climbing guitar riffs, pulse-pounding percussion, organ, and the unapologetic way Racquel flows her attitude-laced vocals, blends perfectly with this quickly layered track.
The final track “Inside My Vault” feature an Iberian Jazz/Blues infused Soft Pop Rock music composition. The lyrics tell the story of an elusive lover and the secret that will be kept by the one loved. The way Racquel performs this track is longing and sensual – it is as if cigarette smoke has become tangible and you can actually pull it with your fingers. Such vocal attitude keeping a mellow tempo allows for the eclectic music to be expressive and sort of like a second vocalist.
“Where the Moon Never Sets” is a perfectly thought-out, creative, well-produced piece of music where the album’s lyrical imagery symbolizes facets of the cosmos and connects it to how we live our lives. Even the title strikes a chord with you and makes you contemplate, as the luminary of the night (the moon) truly does affect us humans in so many ways, be it our mood, life cycle, mentality, and inner core. Therefore, it is only fitting that “Where the Moon Never Sets” is a great title for a collection of songs that touches on matters of the heart, soul, and mind.
And when I say that I breathed a sigh of relief when I first started listening to this album, believe me, I breathed a sigh of relief because there is a shortage of talent when it comes to real vocalists, lyricists, producers, composers, etc. in music. And after being force-fed by mainstream radio with rotation after rotation of unrelatable music, to be gifted with the music from a band called Lucy, Racquel and Me? SIGH!
This band, in the tradition of bands/artists like the Bee Gees, Fleetwood Mac, Journey, Elton John, and Oliva Newton-John, gives evidence of what artists back in the day accomplished, and what Modern artists of today need to accomplish – the ability to craft music so that it truly carries a message and makes a difference – that’s it! No songs filled with auto-tune, over-synths, and cosmetic approaches to making music; no topics about club-hopping, one-night stands, booty this or that, or expletives. Just music that can move the masses!
Lucy, Racquel and Me strikes that perfect balance when it comes to creating, producing, and executing music. Each artist plays their part at attributing a stroke of professional musical paint onto the canvas, but it takes each artist to make up the complete image that is displayed to the masses of music.
For instance, the lyrical component, Lucy – even though the makeup of the lyrics that Lucy compose touches on matters of the heart, soul, and mind, they are far from being tacky, sappy, muted, or boring. Each track has roots that goes very deep into the makeup of the human condition and traditionally tells the story of love, life, and being liberated through song.
And when it comes to the vocal aspect of the compositions, Racquel’s performance of each track is individually impactful. She is open-minded enough to explore each of her vocal registers and give to the track what it needs – she delves down low when needed to; and, she soars when the music takes her there. She is adaptable, variable, and approachable with her vocal prowess and exudes such personality leaving the tracks living instead of lifeless.
Finally, there’s Phil – the producing machine! Phil gives to the lyricist and vocalist whatever the song needs to be complete. Actually, he chooses the direction of the song’s final genre destination by applying the right instruments and arrangements. The tempo, drag, pull back, modulations, distortion, and duration of the songs all comes from the mind of Phil.
The overall creation, production, and execution of “Where the Moon Never Sets” allows for any, and every type, of listener to relate to the music and have a personal reflection while listening to the music. Moreover, that same listener can have a take-away after experiencing the band’s creation.
We don’t need the bells, whistles, smoke, or mirrors when it comes to music; sometimes a song simply about “boys and girls” is all we need. Stories and melodies addressing practical things, but so exhilaratingly crafted that you do breathe a sigh of satisfaction after listening and cannot wait to hear it again! What we NEED is Lucy, Racquel and Me.