Help Me Help Me
What's in a name? Lucy Schwartz chose to keep her given name because she feels it gives insight into who she is as an artist. "My name, Lucy Schwartz, means 'light/dark,'" she explains. "I see both sides, so when I write a song like 'Help Me! Help Me!' it might have desperate, sad lyrics, but it has the contrast of an upbeat melody. I like to mix both sides of the spectrum." Imaginative, wise, evolving: Lucy Schwartz is an accomplished recording artist, vocalist, pianist and songwriter from Los Angeles whose artistry far surpasses her chronological age of 20. Her new EP, Help Me! Help Me!, is a perfect introduction to the light and dark sides of Lucy. Onboard are producers Mitchell Froom (Elvis Costello, Paul McCartney, Coconut Records), Barrie Maguire (The Wallflowers, Amos Lee), d.Fly Schwartz (Arrested Development, Deadwood). From acoustic piano/vocal tracks to jaunty horn-driven arrangements, Lucy crafts songs that are as emotionally resonant as they are addictive. Perhaps this is why taste-maker radio station, KCRW, has discovered Lucy as an emerging artist to watch out for. "It's rare to find such a developed talent at such an early stage in her career," says Mitchell Froom, producer of her forthcoming full-length album due later this year, "so I was certainly excited about working with Lucy." For his role on the album, he notes that he was primarily channeling what Lucy envisioned. "As far as recording is concerned, she not only is a great and distinctive singer/songwriter, but she has a unique talent for putting together background vocals and a real ear for production. She's responsible for many of the production ideas and arrangement ideas on the album. She also loves recording and projects tremendous confidence and joy in the studio. As a producer, working with artists at the beginning of their careers is especially rewarding, so I'm sure you can imagine why I jumped at the chance to work with her." Lucy notes that she is excited for people to hear the new songs since, "I recorded my first album, Winter In June when I was 16, and I see the world through different eyes now...thankfully only in the metaphorical sense". Besides creating songs for her records, Lucy Schwartz has made a name for herself as a songwriter who writes to picture. KCRW's distinguished on-air host and film music supervisor, Chris Douridas, is an ardent champion. "I saw a tremendously mature talent in Lucy, occurring very early on in her career. Once I began working with her, I was amazed at how quickly she works. She is a very fast writer, with a consistency and a quality that are very rare." In the last two years, Lucy has written five original songs for feature films. "Gone Away," included on the new EP, can be heard in the Sundance hit Adam. Other big screen contributions include the Fox Searchlight feature Post Grad, and two songs written for The Women starring Meg Ryan. She penned a song for the forthcoming Mother & Child, starring Annette Bening, Samuel Jackson and Naomi Watts, and was asked by the film's director, Rodrigo Garcia, to sing with the score at the film's conclusion. For the small screen, she has contributed what she deems "doctor-approved" songs to Grey's Anatomy, a promo for the ER finale, and Private Practice, plus Make It Or Break It, Reaper, Cashmere Mafia, and Privileged. And she can be heard vocally on a variety of additional projects, notably as the voice of the sultry chanteuse of "Mr. F" and "For British Eyes Only" in the Emmy-winning series Arrested Development, a show for which her father, David Schwartz, composed the music. "My family is filled with musicians and artists", Lucy observes, "so creating things feels very natural to me." Lucy's creativity extends into everything she does. The two music videos she dreamed up for her EP feature puppetry, baton twirling and interpretive dance. The first, for the song "Help Me! Help Me!" is a homemade affair, with Lucy creating the props, puppets, costumes, and zany choreography for the eye-popping video directed by her brother, Ian Schwartz. The second video, for the song "Gravity," is a colorful fantasy told through interpretive dance and filmed under the light of an old carousel slide projector. Doing things her own way is clearly Lucy's forte. Her EP might be titled Help Me! Help Me! But based on her accomplishments so far, it might seem that Lucy Schwartz has all of the help she needs.