Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Change EP retraces the routes of self-discovery while showcasing Lyves’ great musicality

"Change EP"

Release date: 18 November 2022
Lyves - Change EP cover
25 November 2022, 00:00 Written by Tanatat Khuttapan

In the throes of heartbreak and disorientation, Francesca Bergami, under the alias of Lyves, seeks a remedy for her wounded self.

For most of the time, the scope of the Australian-Italian singer-songwriter’s music centres around two keywords: love and solace. The reunion of torn connections is her determined dénouement in each work she creates, and each time dawns the transformation of self, the revelation that ultimately resolves the travails of her life. When such a thing arrives, the music acts as an exhalation of tension and sorrow, recruiting rapturous synths to escort her to a safer, happier place. “Free,” the final track of her first EP Like Water, embodied this particular shift: the elation was embedded on the serene production, suggesting peace and eventual relief. Five years later, after droplets of singles and a soundtrack, her second EP Change follows a similar plot arc, drifting in tidal waves of heartbreak and schematic self-discovery.

Within the runtime of 15 minutes, Bergami shuffles through supercuts of an excursion to loss and redemption: a brief dismantling of what’s been gnawing at her heart. “21 Days,” the opener track, commences the journey with an air of loneliness and longing, and in the midst of it, she seeks guidance. “Nobody here to hold me,” she croons at one point, letting the tangle of woozy instruments rush over her, pulling her deep into the mud. Two tracks later, “The System” sees her embracing herself once again as she begins to dissolve the blindfold, a clearing of the infatuation that impedes her from noticing the warning signs. “This time I’m ready for a better love,” she determines, though that better love, she realises, is herself. “I’m gonna love me better,” she then hums in the second half of the song, tasting the words like a formulation of a motto.

These themes of realisation and discovery have always been a commonplace in music, and sometimes she doesn’t try to differentiate herself from the trend, thus blurring the beauty of her writing. “Shame” and “The System” both have an aftertaste of mild aggressiveness, which is often part of the healing process that many others have depicted before. There is nothing wrong in ambling along what’s already been trodden, but offering a new lens – a more ruminative mindset on the matter, perhaps – could have given these tracks a unique trademark. Despite this, however, her great emotional honesty still glistens luminously on these tracks; what could be better than being true to ourselves? “Swimming from myself / Thought I’d drown if I looked deeper than I dove,” she sings. “But I found greater peace.” This authenticity is the kernel of this EP that, more often than not, maintains the holistic glory of the work.

But what really strikes me as the greatest part of Change is its music. Weaving together influences from breakbeat, UK garage, soul, and R&B, Bergami and Dave Okumu orchestrate something that is crisp, richly detailed, and atmospheric. Her musicality is beyond potent; and when her lyrical honesty and well-layered instrumentation find their perfect balance – as they do in “Change,” the EP closer – the track becomes the culmination of what she’s been striving for: music that is cathartic and evocative, shiny and beautiful. She traces the remnants of her past self while the revelation is brewing in the background, preparing itself for its outburst: change is necessary for her to advance towards a better life. The song is a testament that with these musical abilities she possesses, she can venture into something bigger, more expansive, and grander. All she needs is a will, and nothing, not even her enemies, will stop her from reaching the peak then.

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