July 2020 saw the release of Lucy Bell’s first EP: ‘Nighttime Drive’. Raw emotion combined with surreal, dreamy notes make this album an easy listen with a clear message.
It’s okay not to be okay.
Each of the five songs in this collection in some way resonates with what it means to be a young adult. From the feeling of disenchantment and aloneness which today’s social media society so easily cultivates, to the confusion of the post-break up tundra that most of us are all too familiar. Lucy is beside us, with each lyric and each electronic beat.
The single which lends the album its title is an upbeat track with a New Wave tint. While in keeping with the albums focus on mental health, this song captures a sense of classic teenage spontaneity, adding to this albums predominantly coming-of-age style. ‘Nighttime Drive’ would feel at home on the soundtrack to the likes of The Perks of Being a Wallflower and similar classic teen films.
Personally, Moonlight is a standout track. The vocals are soft and the instruments are gentle. This adult lullaby reassures the listener that it is okay to speak up about their demons, even if it’s late at night and fuelled by Dutch courage. Both haunting and soothing, the song’s most potent image is of darkness and light. The moon’s glow piercing through a bleak night.
Joining Moonlight thematically is Wait. The pianos clear notes compliment the almost hushed tones of Lucy’s voice, creating a smooth, thought-provoking track.
Assume and I Can’t Love You take a more striped back approach that really allows the emotion to pour through. I Can’t Love You is a bitesized ballad that lays and leaves everything on the table.
It’s a classic story of right person wrong time, with the title potentially missing its parenthesis I can’t love you (right now). The song is slow which allows each word to be savoured and appreciated for every drop of genuine emotion that propels it. I think of Lana Del Ray when I hear the echoes and breaths which give this artist her timeless style.
This album deserves attention, not only for it’s masterful handling of potentially sensitive topics, but for the pure enjoyment of listening to this young artist’s unique and passionate style.
– Ella Pollard
Have a listen for yourself below and check out Lucy Bells socials via the links below.
Many thanks to Ella for a great review. Ella is a English Literature and History graduate and volunteer for Vintage Viola. Find out about all the great work they do here.