I think Crooked Cat Adams aka Patrick Barry may be hitting a new level of his songwriting with his new EP Lucia. Lucia is a concept EP based on the relationship between Lucia Joyce and her father, James Joyce. Suffice it to say I very much enjoyed Barry’s previous release Jupiter Moon but Lucia just grabbed me right from the beginning.
The opener “Dublin” is in my opinion one of the best songs I have heard from this songwriter. It’s celebratory, hopeful while also having a hint of melancholy. The song has wide open strings with percussion that lays farther back in the mix. His vocals fit nice and snug into the song which adds to the warmth of the song.
After the joyous mood he brings it down a little with “Saucebox.” There is a stillness to the song between the hypnotic guitar and sparse piano notes. The vocals are the focal point. Barry really gives a great performance here but I have to really credit to Matthew Miller for the production skills. I could hear every word.
The title track is what you could call a builder. At first the song is sparse revolving around brushes, vocals and his guitars. Around the two-minute mark the music starts to fill out the frequency spectrum. A contemplative, reflective vibe fills the air. I was happy to see Barry had some restraint. In a less talented songwriter the song would have gone from minimal energy to an extreme grandiose the clouds have parted ending.
The same thing could be said about “St. Andrew’s” which also builds towards the end but never gets out of control. Lucia has all the right elements to make for a great listening experience. When things like production, songwriting and delivery come together in a cohesive artistic statement it truly shows. Highly recommended.
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