With the release of her debut single, ‘The Killing Season’, Melbourne singer-songwriter Lucille announced herself as an artist who is willing to take inspiration from what could be considered non-traditional sources – in this case, the implosion of the federal ALP while in government – to craft a powerful song. Her second single, ‘Kerikeri’, was quite different: it was an ode to her childhood in New Zealand. By that point it was clear that Lucille was not going to follow a safe path, not that anything in her background suggested she would. Raised in a musical environment, music seems to have seeped into her marrow and she is an artist who is intensely instinctual and also incredibly talented. By developing considerable skills over time she is able to draw on what’s fundamental to her and express it to a broader audience.
Lucille’s debut album, Come On, Fly, has influences from country, rock, pop and folk. This is because Lucille knows a range of genres intimately and will draw on what is necessary for the song. That’s how we come to have an album that doesn’t fit into one slot but which has a distinct identity: Lucille’s. Lucille is sure of what she wants to present to her audience – there is not a moment of hesitation on this album – and the result is a mature, rich work.
Each song on Come On, Fly is complete and contained because Lucille is a highly articulate lyricist: she will give us the beginning, middle and end of a story in each song, so we have a sense as each song ends that we’ve been taken on a journey, and we can stop there or move on. In that way the album is like a collection of short stories. And, as with a collection of stories, we are offered a range of experiences and emotions. Come On, Fly is an emotional album, and that is telegraphed on the first track, which is the title song. There are turns Lucille’s voice takes in that song that will break your heart and also make it soar. This is an experience you’ll have again and again throughout the album. This makes it an experience to be savoured; because it is intriguing and layered you will immediately want to turn around and savour it all over again.
Come On, Fly is out now.
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With her first two singles, ‘The Killing Season’ and ‘Best of Me’, Melbourne artist Lucille established herself as an eclectic, fascinating artist with considerable talent. Her third single, ‘Kerikeri’, consolidates that early impression. Taken from her forthcoming album, Come On, Fly, it has a country tempo and Lucille’s unique, powerful vocals.
It’s a nostalgic song that is in no way mawkish. Kerikeri is a place in Northland, the tip of New Zealand’s North Island, where the weather is warmer than in Lucille’s childhood home of New Plymouth. Lucille’s family would visit Kerikeri for holidays, and it’s to those times that Lucille harks on this song. It’s the details that make the song so resonant, along with Lucille’s ability to convey the emotion of being in that place and time. She sounds not just as though she’s remembering happy times but that she is in them. This is captured in what she says of Kerikeri, the place: ‘All in all it is a paradise and looking back to how I felt as a child it was all sunlight. I’m sure most of us have that special place we can think of. It’s like a feeling where over time you feel like your vision has dulled, and you can’t see the colours like you saw them back then. There was yellow sand, and blue sky like I can’t see it now. That is what it feels like anyway.’
Given Lucille’s output thus far, Come On, Fly will likely prove to be a trove of musical treasures, mostly unexpected, always intriguing. ‘Kerikeri’ is a sample of what to expect.
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Melbourne singer-songwriter Lucille has released two fantastic and very distinct singles, ‘The Killing Season’ and ‘Best of Me’. The first was inspired by an ABC TV series about the internal ructions of the Australian Labor Party. The second is a ballad with more romantic tones. Lucille was born in Berlin and raised in Germany, the UK, New Zealand and Australia, and she has been steeped in music since childhood. It was wonderful to have the chance to talk to her recently so I could find out more about her musical past and her eclectic present.
Your musical background was folk, gospel and classical. Was there anything in particular that you loved growing up or did you love it all?
It was very much a mixture of everything. What I really loved about it and what I guess is really the underlying passion all the time, regardless of the particular genre, was the playing and singing with other people. And that’s where that sort of roots music hooks you in because it’s very much about the interaction with other people and creating music together. So that’s where my bedrock is, in a way.
And so that was with your siblings initially?
Did it strengthen your relationship as siblings to have that together?
It totally did. And even when you go through teenage years – which are sometimes eventful – we as a family, the four of us, would bond through song and we would often just spend time singing together, learning songs together, whether that was Simon and Garfunkel or a gospel song, and just have so much fun with the harmonies. So it definitely strengthened us in our relationships and I think it’s carried on till now. My younger brother, he’s a full-time musician. My older brother sings with the Melbourne Symphony Choir. So it’s carried on through.
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Australian politics have been bloody over the past few years – if not literally, then almost. That, no doubt, is why ‘The Killing Season’ was chosen as the title of an ABC TV series documenting the last ALP government. That series, in turn, has provided the inspiration for a single of the same name by Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Lucille.
In this bluesy, swampy, swirling tune Lucille captures the mood of those killing-season politics – particularly apt as Australians head for a federal election on 18 May. There is intrigue in this song – in Lucille’s voice, the music and the lyrics – that suggests that there is far more to discover from this artist, and that it will be very, very interesting when it arrives.
Lucille was born in Berlin and raised in Germany, the UK, New Zealand and Australia, and on folk, gospel and classical music. Lucille and her three siblings would sing, play instruments and perform songs in four-part harmonies – which is why this single, although a debut, does not at all sound like the work of a beginner.
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