Lucie Silvas is no novice when it comes to exploring new genres. The British-born singer-songwriter began her career behind the piano, making a name for herself in the U.K. before moving to Nashville to connect with a wider community of songwriters and dabble in rootsy-er sounds. Her latest album, E.G.O., proves there is no need to pigeonhole her inside one distinct category.
Lyrically, the album tackles many of pop’s signature themes – girl power, love, and heartbreak – but musically, she’s positioned herself on the outskirts of the genre’s territory, toying with the ways in which boundaries can bend and break. She enlists a genre-spanning array of co-writers and collaborators, including Ian Fitchuk, Daniel Tashian, Natalie Hemby, Ruston Kelly, Gabe Simon, JD McPherson, and her husband, John Osborne (of Brothers Osborne).
“Maybe you’re down to Earth / But she’s gonna own the sky,” is most fitting as the album’s opening line. Silvas is anything but tethered down on “Kite,” her girl-power anthem complete with thumping drums and crunching guitars. The track serves as a self-fulfilling prophecy for the album when Silvas sings, “Boy you better hold those strings / Cause she’s gonna fly away.” On E.G.O., we find Silvas free of limitations, and the result is twelve tracks that attest to the full breadth of her talents.
“Smoking Your Weed” is a particularly fun moment, in which Silvas explains to a love-struck guy – with a witty smirk – that perhaps the “girl of his dreams” has ulterior motives for being in his company. (The sheer delight of the horns section, however, suggests that Silvas doesn’t find any harm in the girl’s reasoning.)
The thread of female empowerment continues on “Black Jeans,” where stereotypes are admonished and Silvas openly craves individuality in a superficial culture. Over a soft groove, she sets herself apart from the masses, singing, “Not just another cool kid / Trying to catch your eye / I don’t feel like myself in something somebody else designed.”
Silvas dabbles in rock n’ roll on “First Rate Heartbreak,” a rollicking track (written with JD McPherson and Trent Dabbs) filled with fiesty demands like “Give me the toxic over the almost-good-enough,” and “I’d take a first-rate heartbreak / Over a second-rate love.” She’s fully succumbed to the intense caution-to-the-wind mindset notorious for driving lovers crazy.
While she struts and swaggers through most of the album, she detours into deeper emotional territory, starting with “People Can Change.” Her bravado is stripped back, as is the force of her band, and in its place rests a humble acceptance of personal flaws and an ache for forgiveness as she tenderly suggests, “Let’s just say hello again.” The delicate strings gain momentum as the track concludes, leaving listeners hopeful for reconciliation. Silvas proves to be most powerful when she is also the most vulnerable. Accompanied by a piano, Silvas’ vocals on “Just For the Record” are achingly beautiful as the lyrics attempt to restore meaning to a long-broken relationship. It’s hard not to feel the weight of her wounds as she confesses, “Everything you say about me is true / But just for the record, I really loved you.”
The versatility of E.G.O. is truly solidified on the closing number, “Change My Mind.” The ballad swells with a gospel chorus that mirrors the almost-biblical drama of the lyrics: “‘Til someone says I love you, and the earth cracks where you stand / And you find all the answers, to the questions you’ve been asking / I don’t know if that exists for me / But I’ll keep looking until somebody comes to change my mind.”
Whether she’s making listeners laugh, cry, or dance through the night with their favorite girl-squad, Silvas shines through as a self-assured artist confident enough in her craft to hold the string of her own high-flying kite.
E.G.O. Track Listing:
- Kite (Silvas, Gabe Simon, Natalie Hemby)
- Girls from California (Liz Rose, Silvas, Hemby)
- Smoking Your Weed (John Osborne, Kate York, Silvas)
- I Want You All to Myself (Erin McCarley, Silvas, Aron Wright)
- Black Jeans (JD McPherson, Silvas, Trent Dabbs)
- Everything Looks Beautiful (Simon, Silvas, Hemby)
- People Can Change (Barry Dean, Silvas, Steve Robson)
- My Old Habits (Daniel Tashian, Keelan Donovan, Silvas)
- Just for the Record (Jarrad Kritzstein, Silvas, Ruston Kelly)
- E.G.O. (Elise Hayes, Silvas, Hemby)
- Change My Mind (Keelan Donovan, Silvas, Tenille Townes)
Find album and tour info here.