Stace Brandt’s voice drips like honey throughout Lucky Ones. Her voice soaks through the simple bass lines and guitar chords to make something amazing. It rises over the backing synth in “Miracle,” the first song of the EP, and permeates every layer of the song, and perfectly compliments the guitar chords.
It’s this voice that takes the spotlight throughout the release. These songs are as enjoyable listening to Stace alone as they are with a full backing band. Even so, the instrumentation does not feel unnecessary. It interacts with Stace’s voice brilliantly. The tight bass-lines and drums in “New Hotel” and “Big Kids” drive the songs forward and prevent them from becoming too smooth and languorous. The violins on “Circles” are a pleasant surprise, and create a rich sound underneath the track’s build-up. This instrumentation serves its purpose as it pulls out beautiful moments and supports every song, without stealing too much of the spotlight from the vocals.
Lucky Ones focuses on love, loneliness, and perception. “I can make a miracle/ Out of your body/ We’ll fade into the physical/ End all your worries,” Stace sings on “Miracle,” a song that works as a sermon of love, lust, and the unhealthy aspects of both. The rest of the EP follows suit: life is long and lonely, and we are all searching for companionship. The EP dictates a rise and fall of companionship, a recognition that sometimes loneliness is better than the alternative. And yet the record ends with Stace wistfully singing “I’m coming back.” We all follow habits, even in love.
Stace Brandt has said that she writes by immersing herself in the world of the music, a sentiment she demonstrates how to do throughout this EP. The toned-down instrumentation gives this EP an ambient feel- it’s merely a natural extension of the world of the song. The two songs that bookend this record, “Miracle” and “Lucky Ones” respectively, are perfect examples of this ambience in two very different ways. “Miracle” is more sparse, the synth that constantly permeates the air around the song creates a constant layer of sound that builds and swells. This ensures that the listener is never left in silence, never outside the sonic world that is being built.
“Lucky Ones”, the song that bears the EP’s name, features a larger build, a piano following Stace’s nimble guitar riff as more instruments swirl around this core. Just as the song begins to slow, the drums come in to push it forward, and the vocals begin to layer over each other. Violins add depth to this mournful crescendo, before it all fades out, the listener is left alone in the darkness. The build from sparse beginnings – the push behind this song — stands out. It is someone alone in a snowstorm, gritting their teeth and muscling through it. As the sonic world builds, they feel the warmth that they are approaching and are aware of the last few steps they need to take. It is the singer, lamenting her loneliness as she marches ever onwards.