Guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer Steve Lacy has long been a singular talent: in his solo work, in collaboration with the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Vampire Weekend, or as part of breezy soul band the Internet. The 24-year-old from Compton, California makes sweet, psych-tinged songs that are distinctly cosmic and sensual, laced with nods to 70s pop, funk and soul. His debut album, 2019’s Apollo XXI, was a robust listen, but this second full-length finds Lacy ascending into something particularly intoxicating.
Sexual pleasure and drug-induced highs drift and sway tantalisingly off-kilter throughout (the opening track alone makes reference to ketamine and masturbation via effervescent vocal harmonies). But there’s pretty romance caressing the album’s edges too, as Lacy turns over his last relationship with lyrics such as “let me/ allow me to let go of you” and “These days feel so different with the thought of you in my mind”.
Over smudged, yearning guitars, delicate piano and melodies so accomplished they feel as if they’ve always been deep in your bones, Lacy’s breathy voice glides with a warm, mellifluous lightness. A sumptuous listen that glows like a freaky summer love.