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  • Karlee Skipper

EP Review: "The Dreamer" - Laura Lucas



Laura Lucas takes her listeners on an emotional ride through candid lyrics and dreamy soundscapes in her sophomore EP, The Dreamer. The 6-track project consists of deeply reflective songs that explores themes of “longing, vulnerability, clarity, and hope.” Her powerful, yet sweet voice captivates audiences from the very first note and leaves them hanging on to her every word. Recorded in Melbourne with platinum award-winning artist and producer, Dustin Tebbutt, Lucas wears her heart on her sleeve as she expresses her personal experiences through cathartic lyricism and indie-folk productions.


TRACKLIST

Wake Up, Breathe In

Fonder

I Imagine You Are Happy

Mirror on the Wall

Valentine's

The Dreamer


Laura Lucas is a singer-songwriter from Canada, now based in Australia. From a young age, music had always been a strong element to Lucas’s life. At the age of ten, she learned to play guitar and turned to songwriting. This gave her a safe space to express herself, giving her solace and comfort when she needed to escape. Due to her introspective songwriting and captivating vocals, her style has been compared to the likes of some of the industry’s biggest names, including Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, and Phoebe Bridgers. Despite her innate talent, it was not until 2019 when she embarked on an exchange trip to Australia that the artist “came out of her creative shell.” She began to showcase her talent and became involved in the local music community. That same year she released her debut single, “Poetry”. After several more singles, she released her first EP, Light the Candle, Hold the Mirror. In just the few short years since her first release, the singer has collaborated with multiple musicians, such as Lawson Hull and Rod Coote, and performed as the supporting act for artists, including Harrison Storm, LANKS, and more. Follow her on all social media to keep updated on any future releases and announcements!

 

Wake Up, Breathe In

Lucas sets the tone for the entire project with “Wake Up, Breathe In”. Its flawless folk-pop instrumentation complements her mesmerizing vocals and draws focus on the profound lyrics. The song latches onto the themes of hope and clarity. It shares the freedom in goodbye and the joy in new beginnings. Lucas illustrates how different her life is without her former partner. Everything has changed, but she realizes that maybe it is for the better. Acclimating to life without them was hard, but it was somehow easier than she had expected. With the soothing guitar, soft beat, and airy vocals, “Wake Up, Breathe In” is the perfect introduction to the entire project.



Fonder

“Fonder” is a wistful track that tackles the theme of longing through the deeply vulnerable lyrics. Lucas built the track around the popular phrase: “Distance makes the heart grow fonder.” The melancholic atmosphere is established instantly with the dreamy alt-pop soundscape. The delicate piano and synth waves inform the listener that they are in for another deeply nostalgic track. Throughout the song, Lucas describes this gloomy scene of being without the one she loves and navigating life in this sullen state. She is yearning for them to return, wondering why they won’t come around anymore. At the beginning of the chorus, she sings, “well my heart’s spent all this time growing fonder,” revealing the clever hook. This leads into the heartbreaking revelation: “But I kinda wanna dream a little longer.” She is only able to see the one she loves in her dreams, separated by distance. Lucas leaves the details behind the track vague, making the audience question the reason for the space. Maybe they are long-distance or perhaps they are broken up and she is reminiscing about what they once were. Or maybe they were never even together, and she is dreaming of what might be. Regardless of her intentions, she eloquently describes this feeling of longing. With its wistful soundscape, “Fonder” earns a rightful spot on my personal indie-pop playlist.



I Imagine You Are Happy

“I Imagine You Are Happy” is the only track on The Dreamer that contains a featured artist. Lawson Hull joins Lucas in this sweet folk-pop track about reminiscing on a past relationship and wishing them nothing but the best. The song kicks off with Hull’s voice leading the first verse and chorus. Lucas takes over in the second verse, as she continues the story of hope and nostalgia. In the pre-chorus, Hull’s voice picks back up to harmonize with Lucas. Their voices blend beautifully together, as if the two artists were a musical match made in heaven. The outro contains only Lucas, as she repeats the lyrics of the chorus. The song ends on an ambiguous note, as she repeats the line, “When I saw you at the party, you didn’t look away.” This leaves the audience wondering if the two rekindled their romance or if they continued to only wish one another happiness from afar. With this open-ended storyline, Lucas once again showcases her captivating songwriting talent.



Mirror on the Wall

While every song on The Dreamer contains melancholic lyrics, “Mirror on the Wall” is perhaps the most gut-wrenching of all. The reflective ballad explores looking back at a failed relationship and noticing all the toxicity in retrospect. She meticulously illustrates to the listener that she was not simply unhappy in this relationship, but that she was utterly miserable and void of any joy. She describes the dark thoughts that engulfed her and her unrelenting desire to continue to try, despite the blatant lack of love and trust. Throughout the relationship, she “never got to sleep at night” with him in her bed. She never felt comfortable or safe. She further confesses the heartbreaking line: “Sometimes it’s like there’s someone else in my head who makes all the decisions without my consent.” This situation spiraled out of her control and she felt trapped. She wanted to break free, but somehow kept allowing herself to be pulled back in. She admits that she was lying to everyone—to herself, to her partner, and to everyone she knew. But now, her eyes are open and she sees the truth. With this vulnerable topic, she approaches her trauma with a mature outlook, giving herself clarity through her cathartic songwriting.



Valentine's

With a title named after the holiday of love, one would think “Valentine’s” would be a sweet romantic track. Instead, the gloomy folk ballad is about “the tension between wanting something and being afraid of it at the same time.” Lucas shares her struggle of feeling alone but being petrified of giving herself up to someone. In the first verse, she sets up this idea with the lyric: “There’s too much at stake, I lose every time.” This may refer to her past relationships, admitting that each one has failed before, so why would a new one be any different? Despite her loneliness and desire to find love, she is afraid of the vulnerability that comes with relationships. The song is for anyone who has found themselves prone to self-sabotage. For the people who end things before they begin, in an attempt to avoid the inevitable heartbreak that may come. Through the wistful soundscape, complete with dreamy layered vocals and the mesmerizing viola, played by friend Indyana, Lucas conveys this feeling of longing and melancholy with absolute perfection.



The Dreamer

In the final track, Lucas takes the idiom, “the grass is always greener on the other side,” and turns it into a flawless folk-pop ballad. The common phrase is used to describe when someone is unsatisfied with their own life, and assumes that there are better things out there for them. Whether it is a new relationship, a new job, or a new city, people often think that this change would satiate their desires. Sometimes, they are happy with their decision to take a chance and other times they are left disappointed. Lucas describes her own experience with this by detailing her fear of losing everything she has ever wanted. She articulates this with different desires, such as wanting to move to San Francisco, but being afraid she would dream of Los Angeles instead or climbing the tallest mountain only to miss the ocean. However, she decides to let go of her fears and have faith in the future. She uses the song as a reminder to herself that she does not need everything she wants in order to be happy. Instead, she allows herself to appreciate what she does have and to be grateful for the life she has been given. In the chorus, she sings the profound line: “They say the dreamer is always greater than their dream.” This lyric is a clever way of saying that no matter where she goes in her life—personal and professional—she will always stay true to herself and recognize her blessings. With the introspective lyrics and ethereal soundscape, “The Dreamer” was the perfect way to close out an EP with the same name.



The Dreamer is a flawless project with each track providing a different insight on multiple aspects of Lucas’s life. Her poetic words provide a sense of familiarity and comfort within the listener. From the hope and acceptance of the title track, to the clarity and heartache of “Mirror on the Wall”, Lucas eloquently captures these moments in her own life and allows her vulnerability to resonate with listeners. Throughout the album, the mesmerizing productions and the singer’s compelling vocals were the perfect recipe for this indie-folk record. The Dreamer is for anyone who is a fan of soothing instrumentation and honest storytelling, making it another impeccable release by Lucas.




Written By Karlee Skipper


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