Wednesday, October 10, 2012
I LOVE LUCY
You know how everyone is always going on about the lamentable state of music in its current incarnation?
You know how Autotune and cannibalising popular songs from the 80s have all but destroyed the integrity of the music we're forced to endure these days?
You know how they've done away with Programme Directors at radio stations and copy/pasted Billboard Top 40 interspersed with the hardest working local acts (those that maintain high online profiles)?
You know how jaded old men stand at the bar in Mercury and make comment on the fashions of the day between tequilas?
You know how we all secretly yearn for something fresh, new, exciting, charged with real emotion and above all, slick and amazing?
Well, that something just fell into your lap without you even knowing it - without you even having to leave the bar.
Enter one young lady fresh off the bus from Grahamstown (although I believe originally from Joburg). I present Lucy Kruger.
I was fortunate enough to attend the launch of her debut album 'Cut Those Strings' at Mercury a while back and got my hands on the disc. I have listened to it. A lot. I wanted to write rave reviews about it. All the time. I initially thought I'd write a proper album review, but would rather be a bit more general, as her live performance is also worth some well picked words.
Lucy Kruger is as accomplished a singer/songwriter as you're likely to hear at her tender age. She delivers the feelings encapsulated in her songs with an intense honesty that lends a vital and stripped down charm to music that is refreshingly void of pretence. What you hear (or see) is what you get. And boy, do you get an earful. It's a music based on a wistful blues and a worried alt.pop that relates to a broad set of listeners. At no point does it become overbearing, yet at no point does it become too wispy. It is a subtle and sincere assault - and a savagely smooth sonic experience all rolled into one.
There are obvious nods to influences, but none that mimic directly. If anything, she had found in her cute and coy - yet austere and audacious - delivery, a voice to call her own. A voice of exception. And a sort of breathless bravado.
The album is, in short, full of hooks, and is a wonderful testament to the ability of Schalk Joubert as a producer. Lucy's intriguing voice is given space to explore, and to take you on a journey through her sultry soundscape.
Live it's not much different - at least in levels of auspicious appeal. Watching Lucy on the stage at Mercury, with her backing band that included no less than THE Albert Frost, I was very pleasantly transported back to the day I first sat down and watched The Cure In Orange. Without the usual histrionics employed by so many lesser musos, Lucy and her band delivered a sublime set. It was very much like what Robert Smith and his cronies managed that day in France. No frills, no fuss, just fucking fantastic.
I'm sure a lot has already been said and written about Lucy Kruger. I'm sure there'll be a lot more. I'm sure that she will even have her detractors.
[Like that one review I read, which doesn't bear repeating or commenting on. Except to say that although I love the people involved with the publication, if you're content to dish it out, then my opinion shouldn't phase you in the "what goes around, comes around" category.]
However, I invite each and every one of you to make up your own mind. It is - after all - a very subjective art form. And yes, I just called Lucy Kruger's music art. She is a uniquely talented individual who will creep into your heart - if you're half way intelligent enough to allow her...
I will leave you with the definitive take on the lady of the hour. I quote one of the most influential and respected members of the Cape Town music scene for the last 20 years: "She is the future". That, sir, is the God's honest truth!
Spread The Love. All You Need Is In The Sky With Diamonds...