Album Review: Lydia Luce, ‘Garden Songs’

In Lydia Luce’s lush new EP, Garden Songs, sounds tumble over one another like cascading waterfalls. The album, her fourth studio recording, creates a vibrant, verdant aural environment that celebrates the many facets of loss and love.

“Matter of Time” bangs the drum slowly as it majestically unfurls, blurring images of the devastation of the natural world the singer sees around her with scenes of hope and resilience. In the midst of drought (“When we’re dry as dust and racing to beat the clock”), we see our own withering in the wilting of the flowers. Then we can recognize that we belong to the land just as the flowers do. “Stay in the light,” she sings, for light sustains, nourishes, and restores us, though “it’s just a matter of time” before that light fades.

“Vow” dawns with Luce’s vocals flowing over layers of strings. It builds slowly from a sparse delivery of loving tentativeness to an atmospheric crescendo of strings and vocals. In the end, it evokes a celebration of hope and the “calm that now lies” between the song’s lovers. The lilting waltz “Air Castle” features a pair of lovers whose letters of love and hope encourages them to achieve their individual dreams.

The airy “Cosmic Flower” pirouettes to a spirited, jazz rhumba. It celebrates love’s ability to erase distance when lovers are apart. (“And like a cosmic flower, I am reaching for the rays/I am always going to find my way to you.”)

The EP closes with the stately ballad “Yellow Dawn,” which reveals how, even through the haziness of a yellow dawn, we see the promise of a new day.

Garden Songs brims with loving tenderness. Luce’s evocative lyrics and luxuriant instrumentation inspire us to endure the fragility of love. Even in the midst of disharmony, she reminds us, “love will carry on.”


Garden Songs is available HERE.


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