After a few articles that wandered between valedictory pieces, state of the nation addresses and barely contained rants, I thought I should write a more conventional piece for two reasons. Firstly, I probably need to calm down a bit and secondly the artist in question was one of the most captivating performers I have witnessed in a long time. The debate often rages about how you keep folk music fresh and up to date, how best to fuse it with modern genres to move it on. In Lucy Kitchen you have an artist who is the antithesis of that and who stays true to the traditionalist ideas of the seventies folk revival and the music is all the better for it. Leave it to the likes of Mumford and The Whale to clumsily repackage the genre to sell to city yuppies called Toby, for in Lucy’s music you will find the real heart of the genre.
With many a passing reference both musically and sartorially to Joni Mitchell, here we find something that defies cliché but will have you reaching for such over-wrought literary ones as ethereal, gossamer, delicate and enchanting. This is truly original stuff and in an ironic exception that proves the rule she manages to pull off the only worthwhile cover of a Damien Rice song I have ever heard largely because she is one of the few artists I have come across able to conjure those same otherworldly atmospheres (though do check out My Northern Sky.)
With just the right amount of “newness” to stop this being a pastiche but with full understanding of her place in the folk tradition, Lucy’s music is an enthralling experience and it is easy to see why she made it to the live finals for this year’s Glastonbury Emerging Talent Stage. Who’d have thought you could find such a musical gem in a back street boozer in Swindon on a Wednesday night.
(first published in The Ocelot May ’15.)