Lucy Grubb is no stranger to us at Belles and Gals. A one-time ambassador for the site, Lucy won the ‘Best EP’ award for her debut release ’18 Miles’ back in 2017 in the Belles and Gals Awards (a precursor to the UK Country Music Spotlight Awards). Now she is back with her third EP ‘Waste My Time’.
The title track opens the EP and straight away you find yourself drawn in to Lucy’s expressive vocals that almost belie her age (Lucy is 23). In the vocals and lyrics of Lucy’s songs it’s almost as if she is talking through the heart with a degree of realism – there’s no need for big expressions, emboldened production or big guitar solos. This is a singer with a guitar telling a story, and it works perfectly. This title track is a perfect example, Lucy telling it like it is to someone who is indeed wasting her time – no drama, ‘this is me’. The band and the backing singers play a significant role with just the right amount of accompaniement that adds to the song, while leaving Lucy very much in the spotlight.
‘Other Side’ is a simply gorgeous love song about longing for another and closing the distance between them. It’s a theme that has featured many times in country music, but Lucy manages to give the song something extra with perhaps her most delicate vocal performance to date. Lyrics such as ‘I wonder what you’re thinking, if you miss me, or if you’re still trying to figure it out’ set the scene for this absorbing song, which ends perfectly with a longing ‘you know that t-shirt still looks good on you‘.
Lucy herself has said that ‘You Don’t Do Anything’ is a tongue in cheek ode to country music and it is everything you want from a song in this genre we all love. If you’re not tapping your foot as you are listening along, you are probably dead. It’s one incredible song about making the decision to call it quits in a relationship that isn’t working.
The EP ends with ‘When It Rains’. At 4 minutes and 50 seconds, the length will come as a surprise to Lucy fans, who is absolutely known for shorter, quirkier songs in the past. You almost feel like Lucy is making a statement – you’ve seen that side of me, and here is a glimpse of something different, a tender love song that really paints a picture and she pulls it off brilliantly. Another beautiful heartbreak track, which Lucy’s eloquent vocals help make it her own.
I’ve been a massive fan of every single record that Lucy has put out, but there is little doubt for me that this is the best yet. Lucy has an ability to write fantastic songs, while adding in little ‘country’ references without ever making them sound in any way out of place. This is an EP from an artist who has grown in confidence year on year and recognition for her is growing at a pace.
‘Waste My Time’ doesn’t have a stand out track. It has four.
Review written by Nick Cantwell (twitter.com/nickbelles_gals)