Track Review: You Lucky One // Villagers

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Villagers have released ‘You Lucky One’ ahead of their new album That Golden Time due May 10 2024. An intimate successor to their fifth album Fever Dreams, the track oozes with Conor J O’Brien’s trademark melancholic twang. A distinct and dulcet Dublin flair wrought with themes of morality and conflict, ‘You Lucky One’ is a poetic delve into the imperfect reality of romantic corruption.

A reminiscent ode to their 2018 album The Art of Pretending to Swim, fans are transported into a familiar lyrical tale of sombre love. Dappled with sentiments of resentment, the lyrics may be soft in their delivery but unearth a tumult of emotion. “Am I such a bore / am I such a drag?” certainly elicits that familiar notion of not feeling good enough.

The opening lines “I can tell by your tone that you’re telling the truth / but it doesn’t add up with my image of you” encapsulates the bitter realisation of a misalignment with the perception of someone compared with the disingenuous reality.

The official video also emulates the lyrical exploration of inner turmoil, with Irish singer-songwriter-producer O’Brien describing it as “a complicated, messy affair full of hellish landscapes and internal demons”. Evocative of Francis Bacon’s artwork (Head IV), you simply cannot pull yourself away from the unnerving stare of O’Brien in his immaculate personification of the lyrics.

The juxtaposition of “you parasite / you lucky one” further conflates the notions of selfish amorality with fortunate privilege. This in turn summarises the entirety of the track; a turbulent tale between two protagonists bound by conflict.

Throughout the years Villagers have woven stories of life and love with stripped-back vulnerability, distinct melodic instrumentals and O’Brien’s raw poetry. ‘You Lucky One’ has not deviated from this trifecta, resulting, in my opinion, in their most vulnerable and captivating song yet. ‘You Lucky One’ is a track to cherish, reaching deep within to stir resonance and emotion, setting the tone for what fans can anticipate from their upcoming album.

Words by Anna Farrer


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