New Music | Friday Roll Out: METZ, Bodega, LUCI, Bodega

Sitting here, listening to Our Brand Could Be Your Life (Chrysalis) by NY group Bodega and I’m sitting here just wondering “Why?” Honestly, I thought there was redemption in the band 2022 Broken Equipment but things seem to have reverted back to its Shiny New Model days. Mind you, I’m not trying to slight the band but finding something new or interesting here is harder than it might seem. There’s a point where you make music that offers something refreshing on sounds and styles that have been perfected in the past but aside from the “Stain Gaze” track, I don’t see/hear anything that sets the band apart from anyone else. Sounds like another pop band with spoken/sung vocal deliveries. Aside from the 15 tracks here, there are an additional 7 tracks, just in case you were wondering.


Legends are sometimes true and make their way through reality. Living up to the weight of one’s own critical acclaim might be something different altogether now. How often do we find an artist with an assortment of potential only to fall flat with its subsequent release or art that doesn’t stand even close to that of what preceded it? There are quite a few examples we could offer here but surely you must have at least one you’re considering.

LUCI is unequivocally, an artist with an uncanny and unique voice and has the ability to create something no artist has ever capitalized on. Through the 2022 debut EP Juvenilia, LUCI’s songs were both gripping and fascinating as she utilized her voice with a range and style we hadn’t heard before. Two years later LUCI releases the full-length debut, They Say They Love You (Don’t Sleep) and it seems yes, things haven’t changed. The ever-evolving artistry of LUCI, from jump, doesn’t follow a linear path, instead, blends an almost experimental view of Hip-Hop, R&B, Trip, and Psychedelia on the opening “Martyr.” Her style & delivery can’t be ignored as the beat, mixed with LUCI’s vocal hook; it’s enticing as she brings you into her world. The haunting bass lingers throughout and much like a whirlpool, it doesn’t let you go. This is how you get everyone’s attention. But it isn’t all about forcing you to do things as “11:11” brings out LUCI’s softer side without losing any of her venomous spit. The music eases into the very depths of one’s soul as it completely allures as LUCI tempts through her lovelorn wording which might be more lustful than anything else. She gets lost in the rhythm and the sensuality in her voice could be felt from beginning to end. It’s the expansive “Rockwichu” though that will leave you fascinated once again as LUCI sings over a melody as distortion swirls in the background before percussion & bass swallow it whole. Her voice lifts her words, almost transcending to another level altogether as the music – oh the music – is almost orchestrated to direct it there. Fascinating indeed.

At under 3 minutes, it “Spins” that LUCI is able to easily maneuver through, elevating it with just the use of her voice. Given, the sparse beat circles back around again and again but it’s the way her voice collides against, or with it, that should make it a favorite for many. She provides another source of melody that no one else is able to match. Then there’s the sweeping “Morning Wine” on which LUCI gets some help from Warpaint drummer Stella Mozgawa and I’m here for it. This is a vinyl bonus track only but it confounds, opening with just a simple beat, a melody that drifts in and out, right before it turns into a beast of a song almost halfway through. Background vocals slide in along those of LUCI’s and when Mozgawa lets the beat drop, oh what a ride! This is where the strings come in as well, adding potent vibrancy to that thick bassline.  

There isn’t much to offer about LUCI’s debut full-length aside from the fact she’s lived up to my own hype after first listen. They Say They Love You challenges everyone’s perception of what music should sound like and how it should be presented. Through this album, LUCI has proven herself to be the innovator that will always take the road less traveled to create something that’s as magnificent as her voice is. Greatness follows LUCI.


You ever get the sense that with some people, disappointment is never an option? I mean think about it, someone shows up for work, always gets their work done and stays ahead of the game for the next day so that they’re able to outpace their coworkers? Sure, it’s something we see every day because some of us have that one coworker who never missteps and always seems to take everything in stride.

METZ isn’t just a city in France but also the name of the Ontario, Canadian band that’s been churning out material since 2009. The post-punk trio has always provided in-your-face musical antics, embellishing its songs with an unrestrained sonic fervor only this time, with its fifth full-length Up On Gravity Hill (Sub Pop) the band shakes things up a bit, as it vies for melody shifts, deviating from its full-frontal attacks…but never relinquishing them. Don’t get it twisted, this is the same band we all love to rock out with but METZ has shifted its sound just a bit. Honestly, Up On Gravity Hill isn’t an album that has any tracks you should or would want to skip over, blatantly covering every track with something delectable, and never betraying itself or its fanbase. From the start METZ shoves its instruments in our faces with “No Reservation / Love Comes Crashing” as it begins abruptly with a wall of guitars strewn around it as bended guitar notes take on a life of their own. But then the mid-tempo of “Glass Eye” finds a different life altogether, as the band capitalizes over the infectious melody it produces here, playing a bit with dynamics within the song itself. Yeah, this composition gets your attention quickly with its guitar antics.

The band revels in its power and stylistic changes with “Entwined (Street Light Buzz)” having some self-professed Swervedriver sheen added to it, but honestly, I don’t hear it. What I do here is METZ continuing to evolve as a band and while there may be other elements at play here, it still remains METZ at heart. But while the band may have shifted things a bit, I think there are other things at play that I can only articulate as escapades of 90s walls-of-guitar we may have found in a number of English acts. I’ll leave it at that because that seems to be the only stylistic change – or addition, you take your pick – but it doesn’t deter from what the band actually does, it only accentuates it. That’s something we can hear within “Light Your Way Home,” as those layered guitars find frontman Alex Edkins cooing over them through his adult-filled angst. Don’t get me wrong, this is good, really fucking good, and shows a different side of what the group is capable of. Backtracking a bit, METZ’ single “99” offers the best of all it has to offer, and as it rips through the chorus, with a constant and consistent “Ninety nine nine nine,” the band is reaching for higher ground through its use of melody, and it’s fucking fantastic!

There are still a few tracks I haven’t even touched on like the oddly winding “Never Still Again” and the enchanting “Superior Mirage,” but it makes no difference because Up On Gravity Hill because no matter what you find yourself listening to, you’re going to be intrigued. METZ captures your attention from beginning to end with an album that may be filled with a variety of tones and inflections of the band’s sound but it all remains unequivocally METZ. We can be real though as well. Just the fact that the group’s album was created this way, it’s one reason this album is probably the band’s most realized work to date.