Therapy For The Heart And Soul – Some Thoughts On The New Album From Lucie Silvas

This past week, saw the much anticipated and long awaited album from the incomparable Lucie Silvas. This new album, ‘Letters To Ghosts’ comes eight years after her second major label outing, ’The Same Side’ in 2007. Since that point, Lucie has written for artists such as Katharine McPhee, Delta Goodrem and The Saturdays to name a few, toured with Jamiroquai, lived, moved to Nashville, got married and has played and recorded what seems like hundreds of demos and ideas of songs that enabled her to formulate the sound that is presented on this titanic album.

‘Letters To Ghosts’ is an absolutely stunning piece of art, a genuine tour-de-force, knock your socks off, one of a kind record. It holds such such majesty, reverence and grace within its composition. Its immediate potency is apparent whilst sustained and repeated outings offer new depths, revelations and joy. It is clear from the outset, that ‘Letters To Ghosts’ is a labour of love in the truest, purest sense – every single aspect of its sound, every lyric and melody is thoughtfully contributed and which results in this cumulative magnificence.

There are two distinct lyrical patterns explored across on ‘Letters To Ghosts’ there is the sound of somebody ripping your heart out yet, trampling upon and replacing the space with reservation and a sense of the unknown YET at the same time there is a nurturing tone, in which the heart is navigated back to safety where togetherness and succour triumph.

If you, like us have a heart that is broken and bleeding but one that is still beating – this album is like therapy for your heart and for your soul. It is clear from the lyrical content and passion though which they are delivered that Lucie herself has lived these songs and has plumbed the depths of her inner most core to express her misgivings, fears, doubts and sorrows and she does so with such articulation, clarity and great sense – there is an acute self awareness within the writing which is most alluring, there is zero self pity or righteousness on display here, the pain and despair is owned and understood ‘it’s just like me to let a good thing go, I’m a wrecking machine all on my own’ Lucie sings on ‘How To Lose It All’ which is set to a 60’s girl group rhythm with a wall of sound cascading around her velvet like vocal. A similar reflection is expressed on ’Smoke’, with the lyric, ‘somebody stop me, I am a danger to myself, somebody take me out before I hurt somebody else’ which is presented as a brooding, slow burning groove whose intensity increases to its close.

The track ‘Roots’, has the most captivating lyric ‘there are ways out and I see them, but I choose to be held captive…. I find strength in the sorrow’ – it explores the notion that there are ties that bind and how uncomfortable it can be to disturb them but also that the familiarity and safety of the attachment is a comfort. The bluesy delivery and gospel-esque choir sounds are heartstoppingly beautiful. The title track ‘Letters To Ghost’ with its uplifting kick drum, mandolin and guitars is a driven, joyful sound which masks the true identity as it explores how it can be so troublesome to separate, ‘I can’t let go of, someone I wanted the most, still on fire, I’m writing letters to ghosts’.

‘Villain’ is perhaps the most devastating and haunting of all tracks on the record – you will have to remind yourself to breathe as it plays such is the intensity of lyric and melody. The simple piano led track with swelling layered harmonies and a lyric which is brutal ‘my stone cold heart ain’t gonna fight’, makes for an overwhelming experience. The accompanying video is equally crushing.

Of course, on the other side of the spectrum, there are songs of nurture and tenderness for instance ‘Unbreakable Us’, which at its core is a statement of solidarity and strength, ‘when it hurts the most, just because it’s cold don’t mean the summer ain’t gonna come again’. ‘If you’re out of faith, take mine whatever it is, it ain’t enough to break, unbreakable us.’ Lyrical sublimity.

There is similar hope and beauty expressed on ‘Pull The Stars Down’ in which Lucie offers, ‘you pull the stars down, i just have to reach out and you make the mountains easier to get around’. This sense of rebuilding, overcoming and the elegance within the way in which Lucie is able to communicate and deliver these songs is thoroughly remarkable.

These songs are astounding. Lucie’s already formidable songwriting has progressed and flourished, her voice has also become even more deadly and precise as well. The unparalleled emotive, impassioned range of her earlier work is now swathed in tones that are deeper, grittier and even more beautiful for it. Despite, the soul-searching presented lyrically, what is most endearing is how Lucie’s vocal communicates hope, where it will all be okay in the end.

‘Letters To Ghosts’ cuts straight through to the heart with enormous accuracy and its results are immeasurable – this is an album you absolutely cannot miss.