Lucy Kruger & The Lost Boys - Summer’s Not That Simple [Review]
Lucy Kruger & The Lost Boys, a psychedelic, folk/dream pop band from Cape Town, released their first full length album on 15 May 2017. A follow up to their 2014 Self Titled EP. The band, according to their Facebook page, was founded on the 6th of March in 2012.
Lucy Kruger & The Lost Boys have definitely carved a unique sonic space for themselves, with a wall of music being built and torn down behind the hauntingly beautiful voice of Lucy Kruger. On my initial listen I was blown away by the simple fact that the band accomplishes it to make a sea of instruments disappear between the songs, where the silences gain a story telling musicality.
On the rest of the playthroughs of the album I noticed the subtleness of everything, a vague feeling of being swallowed by the music and the story each song seeks to tell. The opening track ‘Empty Hands’ takes you on a journey of the search for ‘the light’. A story of something that was once held and hidden away to be lost to the ages. With an entrancing performance from the instruments, you can’t help but focussing on the emotional vocal performance. With an instrumental transitioning to a very dark part of the song, you’ll feel the spine chilling emptiness almost familiar. With a fade back to the chorus, the almost ghostly apparition soon disappears and fades into the first silence of the album. This album almost deprives you of your senses by using beautifully written lyrics that replace your senses of touch, sight and sound. Songs like ‘Black Spot’ and ‘Winter’ are perfect examples of this. Touch is replaced by the cold empty feeling of being secluded. Sight is replaced by finding yourself in an abandoned house. Sound is replaced by the sound of the outside dream world. Masterfully used repetitions of words emphasize some of these feelings. A personal favourite is the closing lines from ‘Black Spot’.
“On a quiet night seen through closed eyes There is nothing but a sound dying to be found On a quiet night seen through shut eyes There is nothing but a sound dying to be found” One thing that is fantastically done on ‘Summer’s Not That Simple’ is how songs are structured and layered. ‘Grace’ is a wonderful example of this, with the an acoustic guitar being a calm shoreline, it starts off secluded and with a wash there is an unsteady ocean of sound surrounding it. The song, little by little, builds with the same themes repeating throughout. An intensity is built by the band just adding parts and not completely taking them away to add to the calmly sung lyrics dealing with how mind can run away with itself. The song ends with a final wash and all you feel around you is a calm ocean off acceptance consuming you softly. Another excellent example of how a song can entrance you is the crescendo that is ‘Ghost’. A slow burn that just builds as you progress through song. The acoustic guitar constantly droning, disappearing and reappearing, an urgency that is added by the addition of more instruments. The song is never overwhelming and it hints towards a feeling of dread, a controlled unsafeness, until the instrumental leads you into a steady drum beat and a chaotic flurry of guitars overlapping and cascading off of eachother, building to the end of the song where everything fades to nothing. A song that stands out from the rest of the album is ‘Summer’, a very bare song with only two guitars on it. It feels like it was written with a lost love in mind and it deals with feelings of regret and being left behind. It’s not at all a dreary song though, with the two guitars having quite a warm sound to them. The main riff played throughout most of song is beautifully constructed around the lyrics, almost warming up more of the colder words. The chorus has just the right amount of contrast to the verses with lyrics almost confidently proclaiming that there are better times ahead. ‘Summer’s Not That Simple’ is a perfectly recorded, mixed and produced album. From the first song till the last, you are transported by masterfully played instruments and an astonishingly beautiful vocal performance. Nothing feels overdone and with some of the subtleties that feel as if they were preordained to be in the songs. Lucy Kruger & The Lost Boys is a band that isn’t afraid to embrace the darker side of dream pop, not completely a nightmare or something that resembles a fever dream but something in between that and a calm controlled dream, with the hints of psychedelia and folk only adding to the story that is being told whilst listening to this album.
You can find 'Summer's Not That Simple' online at Bandcamp and all other platforms.
Do not miss seeing Lucy Kruger & The Lost Boys live, follow them online: