Steve Lacy’s self-titled, masterful showcase of funk meets soul leaves listeners wanting more; all from the 18-year-old’s iPhone.
At just 13 minutes long, the beautiful balance of impassioned vocals and earthy instrumentals by no means leaves the listener unfulfilled. Across the breadth of 6 songs, the Southern Californian perfectly establishes his rite of passage to bigger and greater things in the industry. Offering us a plethora of musical ideas from the kick-back, vocal-heavy vibe of ‘Thangs’ to the desk tapping, jazz drums meets thumping bass line of ‘Haterlovin’.
What is truly astonishing about, as Lacy himself describes as a “song series”, rather than an EP or album, is the fact that it was almost entirely produced on his iPhone – by himself. Along with his solo work, Lacy is bassist and backing vocals to Grammy-nominated 5 piece, The Internet (yes, I repeat, he is only 18-years-old), credited on 6 out of the 12 song, 2015 album; Ego Death, which was released prior to his official annexation with the band. The humbled teen cited that he wants to give the message to the kids that, just because they don’t have the latest mixing board, doesn’t mean they can’t make music. He went on to say; “when you have an iPhone, work with what you have…cos if you have the ideas, it’s going to comprehend.”.
What really stands out for me is the pure and genuine talent Lacy emits from his music, there is not one element that becomes overwhelmed. His ability to masterfully draw upon one component and tease the listener, then suddenly merge the beat to one smooth and silky flow is extremely exciting. ‘Dark Red’ is an obvious stand out from this series, the mature, yet wavy melodies flow gorgeously with the continuos beat; an element that opposes the carefully disjointed beats established in the other songs.
With the likes of Anderson .Paak, Thundercat and The Internet, Steve Lacy has fully established himself in the realms of prospective talent from the West Coast soul scene. An exciting young talent that I hope and believe will be a big name in the coming years.