Updated: Jun 4, 2021
Meanjin Songstress Lucy Francesca Dron has released her highly anticipated EP Leftovers following a string of stellar singles that caught ample spins on triplej. Although just five tracks, the EP offers a lush relinquary of music that walks the line between gritty indie rock and ageless contemporary jazz.
“Leftovers is like a musical journal of my experience transitioning from a teenager to a young adult. Each song represents a piece of the journey, exploring themes of curiosity, anxiety, love, heartbreak and acceptance.”
Leftovers opens strong with sunny sojourn 'What Is Next?' Inescapably catchy, its frizzy guitars and woolly basslines almost dare us to listen closer, and its a decision that pays off in spades once Lucy's feathery vocals soar in. With incredible range and adroitness her voice dances from chord to chord as she reflects lyrically on all the possibilities as a young person graduating to adulthood.
“'What Is Next?' is about choosing to put yourself out into the world to create new experiences and enter a new phase of life. It plays around with the mundaneness of certain aspects of life. Lyrically it’s chaotic yet musically it’s an enticing reflection of what I was feeling after leaving a relationship and putting myself out into the world as an 18-year-old girl and musical performer.”
Where 'What Is Next?' is like a morning espresso and a run along a European boulevard, 'Mirrors' is a nightime dive into deep crystal clear waters. Yet upon surfacing we find ourselves at the Blue Note Club immediately seated on velour and offered a Frangelico and lime. Tex Keane's percussion is skin-tight amidst the glistening keys from Tom Dron which creates a wondrously expansive soundstage. As Lucy's velvet vocals drift effortlessly over the chords we get the sense of an artist with maturity beyond her years, yet a still youthful exuberance that's loud and clear.
'Take It From Me' re-energizes the soundtrack once again. There so much more than what we see' she tells us as she pleads for 'something to believe in'. With agility she glides and syncopates over each fuzzy guitar chord and unison strike of the drum with satisfying fidelity. It does really feel like the heart of the EP.
“When I write, it’s kind of a burst of emotions. I think ‘Take It From Me’ is just about being very overwhelmed and emotional, and being in love and it being overwhelming. That theme definitely runs through the EP. I feel like 'Take It From Me' is the heart of it … and the song after that is the heartbreaking one… it’s very sad haha, and then the last song is almost accepting endings... so, the EP kind of builds up; it’s an emotional thing of building up and growing up".
If 'Take It From Me' is the heart then 'Liquid Numbing Pain' wrenches it right out. Listening to this track is either self-medication or self-destruction we can't be sure. What we can be sure of is that Lucy doesn't know the meaning of making short songs that just blur together. Instead it takes the idly withdrawn sweet nothings of Mazzy Star and injects it with a cascade of tragedy and yearning. 'Liquid Numbing Pain' gives you the feeling of nostalgia for a song you've just heard but you feel like you've known your entire life. The ending strikes as devastatingly as the lilt of the note on the final 'please' before the track fades into the ether.
The 'Epilogue' is a welcome final track, its smoky blue notes play almost like a melancholy urban carol. You can picture shimmering Central Park lights as the snow begins to fall and the camera gracefully zooms out to the city that never sleeps, finally earning its slumber.
Leftovers has it all. An indescribable ethos, an overarching theme of unbridled emotion, and dazzling musicianship. Lucy's command of multiple genres allows her to connect with her creative voice and tell a story without any of the histrionics of other jazz-fuelled interpretations. To say this EP won't be her best isn't a criticism but rather an assured hope that her next record will be even more impressive.