At 28, Lucy Michelle is a songwriter as serious as they come. Twin Cities natives will know her as frontwoman of gypsy-pop outfit Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles, a raucous and eclectic six-piece. At home and on the road, Lucy has stood boldly amidst that chugging whirlwind of cello and accordion, stomping her foot and singing out fiercely over the top of it all. It’s a collaboration five years strong whose catalogue reveals an artist developing not only her craft, but also personally.
Through songs of adventure, love and reflection Lucy has shared an evolving understanding of herself and her values. It’s a process that in 2012 led Lucy, after becoming happily married, to write a batch of songs more deeply personal than any she’d written before. The result is Attack of the Heart, Lucy Michelle’s first ever solo album. Enlisting the help of local greats John Munson and Chan Polling, Lucy set out to create an American pop gem. It’s a hard-earned hallelujah at times reminiscent of Dylan’s contented spirit on ‘Nashville Skyline’ but with a strut all her own. “Heart Race”, the album’s opener, rolls in as gentle as a weekend sunrise upon a Minnesota lake.
From there Lucy takes us on a journey of American pop music in the classic sense. There’s a bit of New Orleans in the shuffle of “Do What Your Daddy Told You”; a bit of that old countrified California in the slow dance of “Best We Know How”; a bit of Detroit R&B in “All I Need”. “For You” features Lucy’s first jazz vocal on record, but it’s apparent she’s been doing this for years.
By the end of the album one gets the impression that Lucy has found that long pined for home she’s sung about all along. While a life of music on the road may have prepared her to give a nod to what has come before but she’s clearly now more than the sum of her influences. With Attack of the Heart, Lucy Michelle emerges as a true American artist, and once again lets us all in on the adventure.