Over the past few months, we’ve collectively been bowled over by the music of a large number of unsigned singer-songwriters, and we remain perplexed as to why (might be an idea for a future Mundo list). Maybe their music isn’t necessarily “radio friendly”, but there’s no doubting their talent to craft songs that tell stories, share experiences, and challenge us.
For nearly a decade, Lucy Hill, who goes by the moniker Little Lapin, has quietly been writing songs, splitting her time between a 9-to-5 job and songwriting in the UK before she opted to take a “sabbatical” to travel around Australasia. It was at this time where she found herself in the seaside, surf town of Raglan, New Zealand, captivated by the area’s laid back charm and stunning scenery. She ended up staying there for five years, discovering more about herself and her future goals. Her time in New Zealand culminated in the release of her debut EP and now her debut full-length.
Written and produced in the land of the Kiwi, Remember the Highs is a stunning compilation of songs that combine the mellow pop of the ’70s and ’80s (think Kim Carnes and Carly Simon) with contemporary alt-country and indie-folk. But beyond the sound, the tracks also resonate with the messages of that era, namely survival, perseverance, and independence, which are best reflected on the melodic opener “Magnet Eyes” and “Go!Stop!Go!”. “Summer Song” also repeats this message, but Hill is more explicit about her feelings about her surroundings and the people around her. Stylistically, it is akin to the great Lucinda Williams, who for four decades has honestly shared her emotions and thoughts with the world.
Whereas the previous songs looked at everything and everyone around Hill, she takes an introspective look on the fantastic “Colour Blind”. Hill brilliantly describes the self-induced entrapment and isolation that we often put ourselves, whether as a result of a devastating experience or our own stubbornness. “Panic” could be the second side of “Colour Blind”, as it depicts the feeling we all experience when it seems the walls are closing in us. The single may also be the most personal for Hill, as she describes the suffocation of being lost.
The songs on the album, though, are not all harrowing. There are songs about relationships, love, friendship, and opportunities. “Nice Coincidence”, the album’s closer, is an upbeat track about welcoming chances. “Over the Draft” is a song about looking forward and the expectations to come, whether just a new day or a weekend with loved ones. “In My Mind” is stripped-back song about the fear we all feel about falling in love. The title track comes across initially as one about regret and longing of an ex-lover, but Hill finds a silver lining in remembering the great moments she had with the individual. It’s a message to which we could all abide.
In addition, maybe we should all follow the path that Hill has traveled, where taking an unexpected hiatus can lead down the road of rejuvenation and rediscovery. It’s a path that, for Hill, has yielded something remarkable – not just a great album in Remember the Highs, but a woman who seems to truly have found her calling and herself. Now, it’s time for the world to discover this terrific songwriter.
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