Tuesday, 21 May 2013

#105: Introducing...Lucy-Mae

Manchester is a city synonymous with music, no one can argue with that. However ask any one of the city's many fresh-faced up-starts who their biggest influences are, and you can almost guarantee that Morrisey will be named more than Etta James and that Ian Brown's name will fall from their lips a damn sight more frequently than that of Aretha Franklin's. With this in mind, it's easy to see why the soulful sass of Manchester's Lucy-Mae has hoisted her head and shoulders above many of the other acts in the city, based purely on the individuality of the music she's producing.

Claiming herself that she was born in the wrong decade, Lucy-Mae's archaic amalgam of soul, jazz and r'n'b is as timeless as her influences, despite her bringing a certain degree of the contemporary in to the mix. Her voice, a delicate tour de force of pitch shifts and dynamics that has listeners on tenterhooks. She also brings a charismatic level of humour to her music (see the fantastic cover of The Jungle Books 'King of the Swingers') which is crucial in maintaining the seemingly perfect balance of sincerity and whimsy that is so clearly embedded in her overall style.

 Having just been signed to FF Audio, it's clear that things are moving in the right direction for Lucy-Mae as she hopes to bring her music to a whole new platform of listeners. And rightly so; while four or five piece guitar bands are ten a penny in Manchester, Lucy-Mae's own brand of contemporary soul is something few and far between. Her voice blends masterfully with the instrumentation that backbones it, irrespective of whether it's guitar, piano or percussion. Perhaps most diverse of her tracks is 'Silent Be Still' which sees an understated guitar and bass entwine themselves around vocals that exude sex and swagger in equal parts.

With a forthcoming EP in the works, now is the time to get acquainted with Lucy-Mae. Her effortless vocals are an absolute joy to hear, while the music that supports her seems to expand and diversify with every song released. Even after several listens, tracks such as 'Gutter Boy' continue to reveal further nuances that just keep you coming back, time and time again. With hopes of 2013 being her year, and the recent dissolution of another local soul act, Mama Roux, there's plenty of room for Lucy to assert her rightful place at the forefront of Manchester's music scene. Captivating.