By GRACE HOWIE
“Was it me or was it you?” is one of the simplest questions asked by British singer-songwriter Lucy Rose on her most recent album, “Something’s Changing,” released July of 2017.
The album was inspired by her first tour around South America, which was independently organized after fans on social media regularly asked her to play in the country. She took only a backpack, guitar and herself, relying on the people who had asked her to visit their town to book shows and house her throughout the tour. These two months of free shows led to the creation of this album, which takes Rose in a different direction musically compared to her past albums.
This was her first release since her departure from her record label, Columbia Records, because they wouldn’t allow her complete creative control. As a result, “Something’s Changing” was completely self-funded and independent, only taking three weeks to make. There are 11 tracks on the album, riddled with complex but soft melodies that compliment Rose’s mellow voice. She feels more mature vocally on this record, especially with how she is using her vibrato and phrase lengths in a much more intentional way than in the past.
She explores the idea of belonging and stability in “Is this called Home,” a beautifully arranged song. It builds throughout until reaching a peak marked by the addition of orchestral accompaniment which works seamlessly with the content of the song. Then shortly after we get another transition which introduces a startling drum beat that speeds up as she sings “Let me hold your hand” over and over, inviting the listener in until it resolves and returns back to the stripped-back sound from the beginning. It’s a real trip, let me tell you.
On Mar. 1 she released her latest music video for the song “All that fear,” my personal favorite from the album which she put out this January as a bonus track. The song is confrontational in its content and the video echoes this. Throughout, the singer is staring into the camera directly. She is framed from the neck up in the black and white video that has shots of differing contrasts making the video feel harsher and almost more raw somehow. She explained on Twitter, “the video was filmed on our first night in Australia. I was jet-lagged, had no makeup on & had nothing to hide. I wanted to show a side of me that for so long I wouldn’t have shown anyone & a side of me I’ve grown to love.” The video was filmed by her husband and tour manager Will Morris.
At the risk of sounding cliché, it seems her album title is more than fitting because something has changed for and within this artist. Throughout her previous two albums songs have always touched on the themes of interpersonal and intimate relationships but on this album they are done so in a much more honest and vulnerable way compared to before, which was seemingly already vulnerable as can be.
Rose, originally from Warwickshire, England now lives in London but has been on tour for quite a while now. Since March she has been on a North American tour. One of the most interesting things about her is that she relies on and is appreciative of her fans in ways that many other artists are not. Much like her South American trip, she has stayed at the homes of strangers, who she always thanks on social media. She really seems to give people the benefit of the doubt and embrace the kindness of humanity, highlighting that it does exist.
If you want to catch her live, she is playing at Union Stage in D.C. on Mar. 30. You can find out more about her and the album on her website https://www.lucyrosemusic.com/