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This series showcases local and regional musicians in a relaxed and intimate setting. The lobby is transformed into a 70-seat showcase lounge.
About the Artist
The lushness of the orchestration of Lydia Luce's Garden Songs EP is striking on first listen, and fans may hear it as a return to her musical roots. The mystery of why starts to unravel when she explains that she wrote it at an artist retreat on Orcas Island, a tiny destination of some 57 square miles off the coast of Washington state known for vistas of water, forest, rocks, beaches, and blue skies. It was the first writing Luce had done since her 2021 album, Dark River.
"It was an opportunity to connect with myself without any pressure because I wasn't writing for a project," Luce explains. "I used the time to reconnect to writing." She found inspiration in the words of Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, using exercises from his book, How to Write One Song, as a jumping-off point. And, as is frequently the case for Luce, being in nature helped stimulate her creative mind. Writing in such a picturesque setting helped her focus her attention on the world around her—quite literally in the case of the EP's first song, "Matter of Time."
The summer before Luce landed on Orcas Island, the northwest suffered two brutal heat waves, and the extreme weather killed dozens. It got Luce thinking about the cognitive dissonance of wanting to be present in this remarkable place while grappling with how the same area was deadly to so many during a bout of extreme weather. For a woman who grew up by the ocean, the mountainous water vistas reminded her of her smallness. It also helped to shrink her anxieties and ego down to a manageable enough size to not get in the way of simply writing a song.