Lucy Grubb made quite an impression on Belles and Gals in 2017. He debut E.P. ’18 Miles’ won our E.P. of the year and we quickly followed that up by agreeing a sponsorship deal with the Norwich based singer songwriter. So it was with great anticipation that we looked forward to the release of her new E.P. ‘Dear Walter’ – here’s my thoughts.
The E.P. opens with ‘In Common’ and from the very first note you realise that this record is going to be very different to last year’s E.P. This first track begins with Lucy and a pair of male backing singers harmonising for the opening bars, already giving promise of a much richer sound. The song is a ‘Dear John’ letter, although in this case, the John in question is Johnny Cash. It’s a lovely ode to the singer which makes for a striking opener.
‘Storm’ is the second track and uses the said storm as analogy for a broken relationship. She cleverly name checks Johnny Cash again in this track, ‘To think I called you Johnny once‘, while ‘all you did was bring me back a storm, I should have known‘. This is a delightful track, where the singer has moved on, but the subject in question clearly hasn’t.
Already it’s clear that this is a more mature Lucy Grubb. ’18 Miles’ was delightful for a certain highly appealing quirkiness. While that is still apparent (Lucy still manages to have a fresh originality in her songwriting), the new songs show a greater strength in composition and production, and you feel that this is a more confident artist who knows exactly what she wants to achieve.
‘Not Into Anyone’ is a brilliant banjo driven track. Lucy sings ‘I’m not into anyone other than you, if you wanted me to‘, a heart rending love song with a chorus that shows off the very best of Lucy’s vocals. This was the song that I was looking forward to seeing performed live the most, and last night at Lucy’s E.P. launch, this track certainly delivered – the standout song of the whole night for me.
The E.P. finishes with the title track ‘Dear Walter’, a song dedicated to her grandfather. This is a beautifully touching number, with stripped back production and a slightly haunting vocal which lends itself to the emotion in the track – there are not many who won’t shed a tear at this wonderful tribute.
A year ago, we decided that Lucy Grubb had released the best E.P. by any country artist in the UK. Little did we know that just a year later, she’d release a record which sets a whole new benchmark. ’18 Miles’ was excellent, but ‘Dear Walter’ takes Lucy to a different level. At the age of just 20, there is no limit to how far this artist can go.