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“Lucy reminds me I love music,” The FADER’s Duncan Cooper wrote in 2018, premiering the video for “CAN YOU FEEL THE BEAT TONIGHT?” I agreed with the sentiment then and I still do now. No other musical artist operates at quite the level of unfiltered irreverence that Lucy (aka Cooper B Handy) does while still projecting an unshakeable cool. No matter how many times he thanks us for listening to his songs, he never comes off as overly ironic or embarrassingly lacking in self-awareness.
Today, after a year of near-silence following the release of his studio debut, The Music Industry is Poisonous, he’s sharing a three-song tape titled Devoted via Dots Per Inch and premiering the music video for it’s first track, “Radiation,” with The FADER.
Each song on the new EP highlights a different production style in Lucy’s expansive palette: “Don’t Worry” sounds like something from his early years — sneakily hard-hitting automated drums soaking in GarageBand synths — whereas the slightly sleeker “Last Dance” employs an accepted payment sound as a sort of pedal point above a simple keyboard chord progression and booming, tonal percussion. But it’s “Radiation” that takes the boldest approach, centering a stadium guitar sample I feel so close to placing it’s driving me nuts!
“It gets so relatable,” he sings early on before hitting the track’s familiar refrain: “You think this song is about you, don’t you?” Dominic C Poropat’s video recalls an age where Lucy occupied a grittier, lower-fi aesthetic. Here, he dances on a farm, surrounded by chickens; stares into the camera in the side yard of the type of colonial home ubiquitous in his native Western Massachusetts; and twirls an umbrella in a cluttered bedroom, a vintage Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition on the end table tugging at the camera’s attention all the while.
Listen to Devoted and read Lucy’s conversation with The FADER below.
The FADER: It’s been just over a year since we last talked, right before The Music Industry Is Poisonous came out. How have you been?
Lucy: Been goood. Been busy with music and nature and some food service still too. Thanks for asking.
The refrain of “Radiation” — “you think this song is about you, don’t you?” — immediately brings to mind “You’re So Vain.” Are you a Carly Simon fan?
I’m actually not super tapped into her catalogue, but I know she’s a legend. The line is definitely a reference to her song. She also chills on Martha’s Vineyard so I rock with that. I feel like everyone knows that song whether or not they know her. Relatable track!
These tracks all show off different sides of your production ability. Were they recorded around the same time or across a longer period?
Yes, they actually all were recorded around the same time. I wanna say six months ago or something like that. maybe a little longer. The first track uses a sample. The second track was done using a four track porta-studio. The third track is a more traditional keyboard/drum programming for me, but I did use a VeriFone card reader sound recoded at Dunkin’. The songs are all pretty different, that’s why I wanted to put them together.
I’m especially enjoying the stadium guitar sample on “Radiation.” Can you reveal the source?
I won’t reveal the source but I bet you’ve heard the song that it’s from before. It is a sample and I sped it up 2x!
The new video is sort of a throwback to your old aesthetic: lower production value than most of your recent ones, with lots of fun cuts and wipes. Can we expect more of this?
We made the video in a couple hours (like we used to do). It’s definitely a low-key vid with not much to it besides the chickens and the swimsuit edition. I hope to start cranking out more vids and releasing them freely again like in the old days. Dominic Poropat who made the vid has always been super easy and fun to work with. And yes, yes, you can expect more vids of all types coming soonly, xoxo.