They say never judge a book by its cover, and likewise never judge a band by its name, but when you hear a name like ‘Lucy And The Night Sky’, the curiosity is piqued, and you get more than a suspicion that this is going to be a band who produces interesting music.
Add to the fact that their second studio album, out today July 4, is called ‘Light Needs The Dark’, not to mention the stunning artwork, and you no longer merely suspect, you know.
Lucy And The Night Sky are a folk rock group from Jan Juc, a coastal village just outside of Torquay, in Victoria, Australia, and they take their influence from the likes of storytelling musical artists such as Kate Bush, Leonard Cohen, Tori Amos, Florence And The Machine, and fellow Victorian, Nick Cave. Additionally, they take inspiration from the music of Chopin and Beethoven, resulting in a gorgeous ambience.
‘Light Needs The Dark’ comprises eight tracks, opening with the ethereal ‘Little Mermaid’, pulling in listeners with its siren call. It’s followed by ‘Narcissus’, with lead vocalist Lucy O’Grady opening deceptively quietly, before letting rip with a Janis Joplin style (less huskily I might add), definitely 60s infused, rave.
A classically trained pianist, O’Grady showcases her talent on track three, ‘Under The Moonlight’, with the rest of the 9 strong band also no slouches at showing what they’re capable of. Violins, electric guitars, scant percussion, and the gossamer voices of Lucy and her female backing vocalists ensure this track has more than a touch of otherworldliness.
Up to this point there’s been a retro feel to the album, falling somewhere between prog rock and full blown psychedelia. Now however, in ‘City Light’s, from whence the album’s title emerges, we can see the influence of Ms Florence Welch, with the layered vocals juxtaposing perfectly against the strident instrumentals.
‘Lullaby’ is not so much soothing as disconcerting, with the thought that maybe the mermaid has returned to call us back to the ocean. The vocal harmonies lap at our ears like the incoming tide, swelling as if a rising storm.
‘Red Dust’, which along with ‘Narcissus’, and following track ‘Giants’, appeared on their previously released EP, ‘Red Dust Rising’. Here Lucy And The Night Sky are at their most Australian, the sound of the bush and colonial folk music deeply imbued in the track. Even before Lucy says the words, “I am Australian”, you can feel the heart of the wide brown land beckoning. A song calling for us to stand up and make our thoughts known on the treatment of that country’s indigenous people, it’s possibly the most political track on the album, although the others certainly more than touch on social issues.
‘Giants’ once again allows Lucy to show her classical piano prowess, before deeply intoning about how we don’t stand on the shoulders of giants; and singing of her love for the classical composers – including her “childhood friend”, Ludwig von Beethoven.
Final track ‘Glowing Skies’ is another song with a strong Australian character, this time taking inspiration from Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, and infusing it with a distinct “surf rock” sound.
‘Light Needs The Dark’ is out today, July 4. You can find out more about Lucy And The Night Sky online on Facebook, and Instagram. Listen to more of Lucy And The Night Sky on Soundcloud, Spotify, Apple Music, and Bandcamp.