Photo by Ryon Odneal

New York-based LUCI has unveiled her inescapably thrilling debut EP Juvenilia and you can catch her performing it live tonight for Bardot’s School Night on Monday, Oct. 3. Across eight exhilerhating tracks, LUCI delves into the creation of a comprehensive self-portrait, one that oscillates between revelries in the beauty of self-expression and a raw weariness with a world filled with people trying to drag her down to their level. Written over a two-year period, Juvenilia exists as an intimate window into the mind space of one of the most captivating voices making music right now.

Every song on the EP is one part personal hype-anthem and two parts eviscerating introspections. The lyrical and sonic detonations that LUCI unloads on the album opener “Ash & Dust” underscore her deliciously brash spirit. But there’s no monumental chip on her shoulder — this is pure unabashed and hardwon love for oneself. “Tired of feelin sorry I don’t bother / I sit on my head and start to ponder / Why they never take you by the hand / Always gotta take ya by the collar,” she laments on the track. Then there are the dreamily melancholic guitar and string tones that fill “Am I Good?” a song that covers the laundry list of all the weights LUCI finds her mind “rolling away.”

But then she tempers that boundless anxiety with a song like “Gnarly,” a concussive bass slammer fueled by her impossibly limitless vocals. It’s tracks like this that really highlight just how much LUCI’s voice is as much an instrumental instrument on her songs as the rest of her multi-genre sound. It’s ecstatic and fearsome but also incredibly soul-piercing when she flings it from her throat in these roaring wails.

On “Tripping, Trippin, Trippin” LUCI offers up one of the EP’s intensely heartfelt numbers, one spliced between her lyricism and recordings of herself trying to talk through the things plaguing her mind and heart. Other standouts on the album include the frenetic banger “Finally” and the frayed-pop-splice of an anthem that unfolds on “UK Lollipop.”

artist to watch in 2023

LUCI will be playing School Night at Bardot in Los Angeles on Monday, Oct. 3.

Visit LUCI on their Twitter and Instagram to stay updated on new releases and tour announcements.

Words by Steven Ward

Listen to Juvenilia the new EP from LUCI below!