Cooper Handy, aka Lucy, has been making bizarre pop music since 2010, when he was 16 and lived on Cape Cod. As a teenager, he started playing with GarageBand plugins, then cut his chops in the Dark World collective, western Massachusetts’ answer to GothBoiClique. (He left the group in 2016, shortly after FADER posted a photo of the crew drinking Dunkin ‘shirtless.) Now based just hours from Cape Town in the town of Hadley, he has become a staple in a certain East Coast DIY set, appearing on bills from all over the world. basement and semi-legal places an artist loft you can think of. There is a reason for this: his surreal songs exist on their own planet. The music industry is poisonous, his ninth record and second release of the past year, is one such offer.
Handy’s music is naïve and free-associative, written with the exploratory excitement of a small child who rocks rocks in search of insects. On a frantic drum machine and synth on “Turn Page”, he catalogs his elementary school teachers: “My first grade teacher was Mister O / My second grade teacher was Miss M / The third grade teacher was Miss W, ”he sings. sounding like he might be under the influence of a hypnotist. The equally weird “Like a Weakness” laments the “bad boy lifestyle” and poetic wax about “growing up / being a super kid”. And on “Rock, The”, where a percussion effect sounds strangely like the sound of a computer trash, he’s sad because a friend doesn’t want to “play” with him anymore.
It would be easy for this kind of writing to seem trite, but The music industry is toxic often feels like a journey into a dimension more alive than the one we currently occupy. This is a sensation underscored by Hadley’s explanation of the name of his band: “Maybe a loose cigarette can be psychedelics, maybe this hominid of the species Australopithecus afarensis.” Love Unity Communication Yes. But he’s not so much an alien that there is no plan for what he does: compare, for example, the Moldy Peaches love songs on video games or Farfisa Elvis imitations. by Alan Vega in Suicide.
Part of the joy of listening to this album lies in the pleasure Handy clearly had in making these songs – they sound effortless, in one take, fueled by a first thought philosophy, the best thought that doesn’t take the worth checking out. However, The music industry is toxic is sometimes too goofy for its own good, if wide-eyed and so insecure it borders on the twee, or worse, a bit of comedy. Closer album “Lucky Stars”, however, feels hard-worked like the other songs. Drums mingle in the background as detuned pianos remember evenings on the sofa, watching old cartoons with friends. It’s a real ballad; you might even call it romantic. Better yet, Handy’s lyrical riffs on “Maps”, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs classic. “They don’t love me like I love myself,” he sings. You don’t believe it at all.
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