For long-time fans of Lucy Rose, the track-listing to Like I Used To reads pretty similarly to her old MySpace demos. Old favourites such as Be Alright, and Don’t You Worry make an appearance, having seemingly disappeared into internet nothingness when Lucy started to gain attention. What separates the album from the early demos is the flawless production, including new backing vocals and a slew of new instruments. Recorded in her parent’s basement, and mastered at Abbey Road studios, the album has a polished roughness to it. The vocals are still as husky and recognisable as ever, and contrast superbly with the crisp, clean production.
From opener Red Face, the tone of the album is set. In previous interviews, Lucy has spoken of how she wants her music to be “atmospheric” and to sound “very close.” She’s achieved exactly this, with her voice being the undeniable force guiding the album, with backing vocals, harmonies and instrumentals fading somewhat into the background as her voice distracts. Previous singles Middle of the Bed and Lines are reminders of why Lucy attracted such a huge following so early on, she knows how to write a beautiful song. Accompanied by guitars, violins and heavy percussion throughout the album, the old songs take on a new life of their own, and memories of early demos pale in comparison.
Lyrically, the album is much of what fans have come to expect from Lucy. Eschewing the distant, metaphorical lyrics favoured by her folky counterparts Laura Marling et al, Lucy’s lyrics are personal and honest, notably in heartbreaker Shiver, “I loved the way you looked at me, and I miss the way you made me feel when we were alone.” By not keeping the listener at arm’s length lyrically, Lucy manages to further emphasise the “closeness” of the album and really give the listener a sense of involvement.
After playing enormous venues with Bombay Bicycle Club since 2010, whilst simultaneously working her way up the London basement venues as a solo act, Lucy has gained the confidence and the experience to produce a beautifully written, recorded and produced album.