Excitement built up on the morning of January 9th when I received a letter. It was a typed letter with ‘Conversation’ typed at the top and on the bottom, a drawing of a very familiar faceless face with long hair. It was a lyric sheet to the first song from Lucy Rose’s fourth album, No Words Left.
The album opens with the sounds of what feels like raindrops hitting the window and I imagine being indoors in a dark room watching the drops trickle down. Then the opening lines hit you; “Conversations don’t come easy but I’ve got a lot to say.” And that she does. Rose says that the album came from, “one of the hardest times of her life,” and “…for a period I was like, should I call the album Everyone Needs A Therapist or something.”
Music is escapism and music is therapy and I will admit, on listening to this album and having to write about it, it has not come at the best of times for me either as I go through a dark phase of self doubt and nearly every lyric and nearly every note has struck a chord.
The third track, Solo(w), feels minimalist and raw with Rose’s vocals swooning over the piano, getting your pounding heart as she sings of pretending to have a purpose and being afraid of the morning and the evening. The listener’s feelings swell with the saxophone kicking in and the light, airy cymbals which lets her/your pain of loneliness seep out.
The instrumentation of The Confines Of This World, feels very familiar. The words are very real, especially in the current climate towards the mental health of musicians. She draws on the lyrics, “I really don’t want to bring you down…I need someone to talk to,” and this is what music does for us. It is a conversation piece when you feel you cannot have that physical conversation. The deliverance in Rose’s tone is a connection to all those that listen, even when they feel they do not want to hear the words of another. But then there is the flip side with Save Me From Your Kindness. The title of this song says it all. I wanted to put this in my own words but Rose herself describes it perfectly: “it’s like when someone gives you a big hug and you’re not about to cry, and then you do cry because they’ve given you that cuddle.” The last third of this track brings what sounds like a distant wailing voice and it puts the listener’s stomach in knots. I can imagine this track being very intense when played live, and most likely without a dry eye in the house or as you listen to it in the darkness of your room.
With this fourth album, Lucy is serious about life. She has laid her life bare for us to listen to and feel. Rose rounds it up with slightly upbeat music but the words, “song after song after song all about me and my misery.” As catchy as they are, you see the sadness right there.
It is also worth mentioning tracks two and ten on this album, No Words Left Part 1 and Part 2. They are mainly instrumental breaks with Rose’s vocals swooning over them, offering a feeling of waves crashing upon your soul. Maybe a feeling of escapism – a release of freedom in song, especially as Part 2 starts with the words, “this time I’m looking out for me.”
This album is incredibly honest and emotional lyrically, whilst musically it feels raw and quite minimalist. It is an album that has knocked me for six and makes me want more words from Lucy Rose, as this is her at her best.