ALBUM: “The Lo-Fis” by Steve Lacy
RELEASE YEAR: 2020
LABEL: L-M Records
BEST TRACKS: “Infunami,” “When I,” “I Think I Should” and “Uuuu”
Steve Lacy has returned! “The Lo-Fis” is his second full studio album, excluding his first EP “Steve Lacy’s Demo.” If you’re a die-hard Steve Lacy fan, it’s likely that you’ve heard most of “The Lo-Fis” already. Similar to his other releases, it’s filled with the indie-funk vibe that Steve is best known for. However, unlike his previous work, it is comprised solely of beats and songs he wrote in high school and released on SoundCloud.
The album is heavy with his signature falsetto, funky bass lines, and borderline mournful guitar strums. While Steve definitely showed off his hopeless romantic side in “The Lo-Fis,” he pursued other themes in his lyrics as well, such as personal growth in “That’s No Fun.”
To me, what stands out most about this album is how Steve explores instrumentals. In contrast to his previous work, these tracks feel almost like bits and pieces of songs rather than complete works; there are only a handful that have full bridges, choruses, and verses. Each song, though they’re all under three minutes, is completely different from the one before. I love how Steve flips back and forth between raw instrumentals, like in “I Think I Should,” to heavily processed and layered tracks like “Hummer.” It’s a quick album, full of surprises and beat switches, but it works as a whole unit very nicely despite its general lack of traditional songs. I know that all of this can be attributed to the fact that “The Lo-Fis” is more of a compilation rather than an intentional studio album, but I enjoy that it fits together so well.
Give it a listen!
– DJ Butter