Lucy Rose – Like I Used To

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Lucy Rose, the up-and-coming folk singer/songwriter, has released her long-awaited debut album. You may recognise Lucy Rose’s voice before you recognise the name; she featured on many of Bombay Bicycle Club’s tracks, namely ‘Flaws’ from their album of the same name and numerous tracks on their latest album. But Lucy Rose has slowly made a name for herself, becoming known for her own songwriting talents and solo vocals. This year is a big one for the English Rose, with the release of two singles, a performance at Reading festival and first television appearance, and now the release of her new album, Like I Used To.

The two singles from this album, ‘Lines’ and ‘Bikes’, were released this summer. ‘Lines’ does not seem the best choice for the first single of a debut album, due to its lack of steady tempo or clear chorus. However, ‘Bikes’ is a good single release, and perhaps should have been the first. The track’s catchy chorus and toe-tapping rhythm make for a great single. The video is also well worth a watch, showing Lucy Rose as a tough biker demanding milk in a bar.

The disappointment with this album is that fans will have heard many of the tracks already. In 2011, Rose released Middle of the Bed, an EP featuring a track of the same name, ‘Red Face’, which she later released as a single, and acoustic demos ‘Night Bus’ and ‘First’. She also released the EP Scar in November 2011. These songs all appear on the album, resulting in five out of fifteen tracks being well-known already. They are good songs, particularly ‘Night Bus’ and ‘First’, but it is unusual for a singer-songwriter to include so many ‘old’ songs on a supposedly new album.

‘Place’ stands out as one of the best tracks on the album, and has been chosen by iTunes as their Single of the Week. The song alternates between a gentle, quiet verse and a louder chorus with drums and electric guitar. ‘Gamble’ is quite slow-going and doesn’t pick up at any point, making for a forgettable last track of the special edition. However, on the whole, the album showcases Lucy Rose’s simple but brilliant song writing and sweet vocals. She makes singing seem effortless, and despite the simplicity of the music, Like I Used To has surprising vitality.

Lucy Rose is touring the UK in October and November, and will play a sold out gig at The Joiners, Southampton on 14th November.

8/10

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