With 1.6 million Instagram followers, Compton, California musician Steve Lacy is hardly a state secret. As a teenager he was guitarist for R&B collective the Internet. That led him to collaborations with artists from Tyler, the Creator and Blood Orange to Vampire Weekend and even a gig producing music for Kendrick Lamar. He’s also a budding fashion icon (check out his other Instagram account, Fitvomit). So you can see where he’s already off and running.
As a solo artist, though, 24-year-old Lacy is still in the breakout stage. But spend some time listening to the layers of sound and emotion he brings to “Mercury,” the new single from his brand-new solo album, Gemini Rights, and that breakout may be closer than you think.
“Mercury” is a lot to take in. It doesn’t smash you over the head, though – on the contrary, Lacy’s approach is more delicate and sophisticated. He’s got a lot to offer, and it’s all within reach in his carry-on bag, but he only brings things out when they have something to add or say. The groove is laid-back, the arrangement layered with percussion, bass, organ, guitar, and harmonies. It’s R&B, jazz, electronic, and Bossa nova…old school influences yet so very fresh…hard to pin down, but super easy to love. Emotion and energy are everywhere, Lacy’s vocals going from Stevie Wonder smooth to staccato and spice. “Mercury” is emotional to its core (It’s a breakup song, after all), but man it’s a joyful ride. And that’s why it sticks so hard.
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