Lucia & The Best Boys usher in a new era with ‘When You Dress Up’

It's the first taster of a forthcoming debut album from an act that's setting out the stall for a brilliant year ahead.
Photo credit: Ronan Park

Returning with their first new material since 2021, Lucia & The Best Boys are back(!), back(!!), and-indeed-BACK(!!!) with a really quite remarkable new track ‘When You Dress Up’. The latest cover act for our buzz-tastic Hype playlist – highlighting the most exciting fresh talent – it’s the first taster of a forthcoming debut album from an act that’s setting out the stall for a brilliant year ahead.

Words: Stephen Ackroyd.
Photos: Ronan Park.

Lucia & The Best Boys is marking the beginning of a new era. That’s the marker set down by her just-dropped new single ‘When You Dress Up’. The track is the first taste of an upcoming debut album, set for release later this year via Communion Records – a powerful anthem that emphasises the empowering energy of womanhood and rejects the male gaze. It’s a left turn that feels both important and visceral. Textured, intelligent pop music that elevates itself above the rank and file.

“It’s been 2 and a half years since I last put out music,” offers Lucia, aware there’s been a bit of a gap since we last heard something on record. “I wanted this to be the first track because there is a familiar Lucia & The Best Boys energy to it, but there is also a glimpse of something bigger and of what’s to come, and I want people to have that mystery. “

That mystery mostly comes from high expectations and the unknown that lies beyond – a track like this was always going to kick up a bit of excitement. “My songwriting is always evolving, which I feel it’s the same for most writers,” she muses, when asked about the song. “We haven’t played many shows over the last three years, so I spent that time putting everything into writing and recording, and all of it came to fruition pretty naturally. As much as this all feels new there is still a very distinctive homage to songs we have released in the past.”

While that’s true, there’s something extra special about ‘When You Dress Up’ – a song about “not taking shit, knowing you’re worth, and never letting a man suppress your authenticity”. As Lucia puts it herself, “most times it is purely because they are jealous of your power.”

She’s got a point.

“This has definitely made me even more passionate about the visual creative process”

Lucia & The Best Boys

In the time since 2021’s ‘The State Of Things’, Lucia has been more than busy. Catching the eye of legendary fashion house Alexander McQueen, becoming creative director Sarah Burton’s recent muse and even closing their recent flagship runway show at London Fashion Week, seeing first-hand the thought and time that goes into making a collection has influenced her approach.

“This has definitely made me even more passionate about the visual creative process,” she explains. “I’m sure there are times in the past where I have found it hard not to compare myself or music to others, but I feel like this world in which I’m about to show is nothing but true to me.”

It’s one showcased by the video that comes alongside the track. Created by Lucia and director Rianne White, it’s described as a love letter to embracing every version of ourselves.

“I feel like the video elevates the meaning behind the song,” she reveals. “I wanted it to be powerful but also vulnerable, relatable and personal. It’s about truly embracing every version of yourself. The design is inspired by Scottish roots and folklore, something I’ve become more passionate about as I have got older and I’ve found this seeping into my music in more than one way. It’s also something [set designer] Furmaan uses as inspiration for their own works. Rianne and Furmaan always manage to capture my ideas so magically, and it’s really changed a lot for me having friends and creatives around who truly understand what your end goal is.”

When You Dress Up

Those points where an act makes a big step up are amongst the most exciting that music can bestow upon us. No matter the potential that previously fizzed upon their name, that rocket booster kick makes everything seem possible.

That’s what Lucia & The Best Boys offers with ‘When You Dress Up’. A slice of modern, grown-up pop, it’s an organic, textured delight. The diamond-edge cut of Caroline Polachek, the dynamic thump of Wolf Alice, the visual power of an artist at the very top of their game – it may not be so disjointed from what came before that it bares no significance, but it’s every bit a turn left that sets new standards.

With the bright lights of a new era flaring bright, let the hyperbole run thick and free. It doesn’t get better than this. ■

When it comes to having creatives around to inspire, you don’t get much better than the mighty Wolf Alice. Perhaps the current holders of the Britain’s Best Band trophy, Lucia & The Best Boys spent a good stint of time on the road with the quartet as they toured their last full-length ‘Blue Weekend’.

“One thing I always loved about them even before that tour was how flexible they can be as a band,” Lucia enthuses. “They can play a big pop hit, then they can perform a huge rock song with in-your-face guitar solos, then they can perform an extremely vulnerable acoustic one right after it, and it will always still feel very defined. I feel like this is something I have always done too because it felt unnatural pigeonholing myself to one thing, but to see them execute that so well and timelessly really gave me more confidence to not be afraid of swaying into different genres.”

The comparison isn’t a far-fetched one – that same organic, brilliant creative vigour shines bright through ‘When You Dress Up’. Modern music that sets its own rules, it begs the question – what comes next?

“We spent 4 weeks at Blackbay studios up on Bernera, a little island just off of Stornoway in the north of Scotland,” Lucia teases. “I don’t think there was a more perfect place to bring everything to life and I definitely think that it helped to shape the sound of what’s coming this year.”

There’s that mystery again. As Lucia & The Best Boys crack open the door on that debut album, ‘When You Dress Up’ suggests every stolen peek inside is going to be well worth the wait. ■

Lucia & The Best Boys’ new single ‘When You Dress Up’ is streaming now. Follow Dork’s Hype Spotify playlist here.

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