Lucy Spraggan wants to write songs for you. For the person next to you in the bar. Your better half. Her better half. Spraggan writes songs spotlighting the regulars in bars, except her bar is the world.
The English singer-songwriter spends most of her time looking outward, paying attention to the people sitting next to her on the train, in coffee shops. These are the characters who populate her songs, spread over the course of four albums and condensed into the upcoming compilation Introducing Lucy Spraggan, 12 tracks of peppy folk pop that capture the human condition.
“That’s what I want to capture: the human experience,” she says. “Waking up, being alive, having to work a job that maybe you love, maybe you don’t’ like. I want to write songs for all of those people.”
Despite her 26 years, Spraggan is a seasoned performer. As a child, Spraggan was a “naughty” kid, playing hijinks to get attention — like singing a Christmas song with mild swear words in front of the class as a five-year-old. In her early adolescence, Spraggan began writing poetry, coupling together observations of the world around her. Once her older brother started playing guitar, Spraggan, too, picked up the instrument (with the hope of eventually schooling him in the craft) and put her rhymes to music. She’d perform songs about teachers she didn’t like, classmates. “I was a bit naughty and I realized that writing these songs was a bit of an outlet to get the attention but not get in so much trouble,” Spraggan says.
By 12-years-old, she was performing live — both music and magic, another skill she picked up as a tween. Spraggan’s mother would often do her children’s bidding, frequently culling people back to the home from the pub and encouraging Spraggan to perform magic, her brother to play guitar. One such group of visitors booked Spraggan to perform magic at brand events.
But it was the pub lifestyle where Spraggan thrived — and found fodder for her songs. In addition to her bevy of odd jobs — as a plumber’s apprentice, in demolition (a stint that resulted in a broken leg) — Spraggan frequently worked and performed in bars.
Frequent travel and communal situations are key to her inspiration. Songs like “Mountains,” which details a conversation between Spraggan and an older woman at a train station who ventured the world, capture everyday intimacies and spins them into whimsical affirmations of hope.
This accessible folk pop with an alternative edge is something you’d hear on Top 40 radio with the likes of Ed Sheeran or, if it were a decade prior, Kate Nash. Rife with sprightly acoustic guitar and moving piano lines, Spraggan’s catalogue has wide appeal. With an eye for minute moments and a knack for wordplay in the vein of Courtney Barnett, Spraggan employs a keen observational style in her lyrics, a talent that’s earned her four UK Top 40 albums and multiple tours across the UK and Europe already.