When Sturgill Simpson hit the road in support of 2014’s Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, he brought along Lucette — the adventurous, pop-leaning solo project of Alberta native Lauren Gillis, just 19 years old at the time — as the tour’s opening act. Half a decade later, the two reunite for Lucette’s sophomore release, Deluxe Hotel Room, which Simpson produced. It’s a bold expansion of Lucette’s melodic sensibilities, with arrangements that avoid the rootsy clichés of Americana music and, instead, double down on synthesizers, piano lines and the occasional horn solo.
A moody, measured verse gives way to a harmony-drenched chorus during “Talk to Myself,” one of the album’s roomy-sounding highlights. Backed by Simpson’s band, Lucette delivers the song in a devastating vibrato, nodding to pop-noire contemporaries like Nicole Atkins along the way. (Listen to the track, which shines a light on the darkness of depression, below.)
“‘Talk to Myself’ is about the feelings that go along with struggling with mental illness,” she explains. “Often feeling comforted by apathy and darkness, while equally drowning in it. It is about being your own worst enemy, but still finding the strength to push through despite the circumstances.”
Deluxe Hotel Room will be released on May 17th.